According to a survey of 2,013 people by finder.com.au, close to one in three Aussies (29 per cent) have been focused on topping up their bank accounts with extra cash through December in order to prepare for the Christmas spend-a-thon.
Of those surveyed, the majority (21 per cent) were picking up extra dough by selling unwanted items on websites like Gumtree and eBay.
Utilising the gig economy also proved popular, with the second biggest group (6 per cent) providing freelance work on sites like Airtasker and Freelancer.
Driving an Uber, renting out a room, delivering food and renting out a car were also common ways Aussies have been topping up their funds ahead of the festive season.
Bessie Hassan, money expert at finder.com.au, said that it was unsurprising Aussies were being savvy and finding ways to make extra cash, as many are looking for ways to avoid dreaded new year credit card debt.
“The last pay cheque of the year often has to stretch too far and earning money on the side means they might avoid a nasty credit card debt,” she said.
“Some want to make Christmas extra special this year, but others just want to make ends meet.”
Ms Hassan said that the selling of disused belongings was a great way to put money in the bank over the Christmas period, as many Aussies will be looking to reuse items for gifts.
“Do a spring clean and sell unwanted items. Some Aussies will be looking to pick up second-hand Christmas gifts,” she said.
“We all want to [enjoy] presents and parties but don’t want to end up with empty pockets or mammoth bills come January.”
The survey found that Aussie women are particularly focused on earning more ahead of the Christmas period, while South Australians are the biggest side hustlers by state.
Despite the digital nature of the gig economy, the data found that an equal number of Millennials and Baby Boomers were focused on increasing their cash ahead of the holidays.
Why the financial worry?
According to data released by the comparison website earlier this month, the average Australian adult will spend close to $1,325 this Christmas period.
Presents were found to be the biggest expense, with the average person spending $464 in total. Travel came next, at $444 per person, followed by alcohol, at $131 per person.
Reflecting the higher proportion of women picking up side hustles this Christmas, women also tended to spend more than men over the season, forking out an average $1,406 compared to men’s $1,241.
Aussies spending big despite wishes
The findings come as research released by ME Bank this week found that nearly half of all Aussies (47 per cent) wished they could give less during the holidays.
In a survey of 1,000 customers, 41 per cent said that they felt Christmas was a time of financial stress, while 44 per cent wished they could cut back on gift giving to save more on essential expenditures such as bills.