I don't normally write about things like this specifically but there are some things I have heard and been noticing lately that I thought I would share.
Since this is just my opinion and I am not a qualified financial planner or anything, I just like the topic of finance. As such this is just my thoughts and you should get further advice for your own personal situation.
So heres what I have noticed.
My mother in law works in a factory as do many of my extended family. My husband has had a little bit of casual work in a warehouse for Woolworths. Usually this time of year both the factories my family work in and the warehouse my husband is currently working in are flat out working double shifts, lots of casuals are brought in and there is so much work no one can keep up.
This year the days of work available have been few and far between. My husband had no work for almost 2 weeks. Its his first shift today in that time and this is right before Christmas. Not a good sign when even the supermarkets aren't selling much food.
Also when I have been into shops lately there has been hardly anyone around. Part of that I think is because thins are so much cheaper online, you get free postage most of the time and can get things like 50 - 80% less in the UK and USA rather than here in Australia.
Lots of people I have spoken to are of the opinion that it is just going to get worse for Australia next year and most people are putting money aside instead of spending up this year. Interest rates have gone up again here and more people are losing their jobs.
I have heard of quite a few people either losing their jobs, being switched from full time to part time or casual or where they work downsizing in general. It is not a good sign.
Thankfully for my husband and I we both have qualifications that seem to increase in demand in hard times. (He doesn't normally work in a warehouse.) That is not the case for most of my in laws.
From most things I have read or heard things do not look good for Australia next year. We might not end up as badly affected as other countries, but I do not think we are free and clear either.
It's not all doom and gloom though, if you are prepared you can pick up some great bargains at these times from large things like houses right down to things you need around the house.
So before you rush out and spend up big at the Boxing Day sales, have a think about what you actually need and if you would be better off putting that money on debt or in an emergency fund instead of buying stuff you probably don't need.