Financial ‘backbreakers’ expected through Dec.

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Financial ‘backbreakers’ expected through Dec.

Tis the season to be jolly, but with less than four weeks left in the year, many are less than happy with the toll they expect December to take on their wallets.

According to Job Korea, a recruitment information provider, 84 percent of 752 office workers surveyed anticipate a major financial burden this month, known here as a “backbreaker.”

Of those, 40 percent said their backbreaker will be year-end parties with friends or colleagues, at which people are expected to spend more than normal on food or drinks.

The second most common backbreaker was high-end padded winter jackets or other outdoor clothing, followed by money and presents for parents or relatives. Christmas presents for children, nieces and nephews took the fourth spot.

The term backbreaker was coined in 2011, originally referring to parents being compelled to purchase expensive jackets from brands like North Face for their children, who claimed they’d be unpopular among their peers if they didn’t have one.

The survey also showed that more women are expecting to increase spending this month than men, at 77.7 percent and 64.6 percent, respectively. In contrast, 7.9 percent of men expect their spending to shrink month on month, while only 4.4 percent of women felt the same.

While both men and women expect their spending to increase largely from year-end gatherings, they differed on where the rest of their money would go. More women expected higher spending on special days like Christmas and New Year’s, as well as on high-end winter clothes, whereas men expected to spend more on parents and relatives.

The survey also showed that the most popular financial management plan during December is to cut back on spending (30.1 percent), followed by tapping into savings. Those without any plan accounted for 15.6 percent.


by LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]





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