Figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia have shown that Christmas credit card debt often peaks around February and this year (2014) it rose to $50 billion with interest accruing to the rate of $35.8 billion. If you weren’t one of the tens of thousands that stashed some money into a Christmas saver throughout the year, racking up hefty credit card bills to get you through Christmas is common but can be avoided. There are still ways you can avoid a debt hangover.
Debt Cutter tips for avoiding debt hangovers
Tip #1 Transfer your credit and cut the old card
We are not advocating using credit over the Christmas break but we are also realistic and if you have an existing balance on your credit card, think seriously about transferring it to another provider offering a no interest free term. WARNING!!!! Hear sirens now! YOU MUST CUT UP AND CANCEL YOUR OLD CARD. Do not be the person that gets a new card and still uses the old one. Disaster strikes when this happens. (Debt Agreement holders will not have credit cards however, other members of the household may, and this info is valuable for them.)
Tip #2 Don’t carry credit while shopping
Which leads to the next seriously important tip, don’t carry credit cards while shopping. This will give you time to soberly consider the purchase. This keeps you from being caught up in the shopping hype or Christmas marketing push. Those marketers know how to convince you to spend money, don’t give them the power.
Tip #3 Emulate Santa: List, check it!
Take a leaf out of Santa’s book. Make a list and check it twice. Only purchase what you have to and nothing more. Your list is your secret weapon which enables you to do a comparison shop and not be fooled by misleading sales promotions, find deals along the lead up to the big day. This list is your key to not making impulse purchases which often end up wrong anyway.
Tip #4 Search for cheap or free decorations & wrapping
There is no need to buy expensive decorations. For this to not seem so dire you may need to avoid eye contact with Pinterest pages that have elaborately decorated houses with even more elaborately wrapped presents. Unless they are reeling the words FREE, ON A BUDGET, or FRUGAL. Search the net for cheap or free decoration options and ways to creatively wrap gifts that look great.
Tip #5 Collect experiences & start Christmas traditions
Grandparents love time with their grandchildren. If they live close by why not enlist them to make Christmas gifts with the kids. Baking Christmas puddings or biscuits for small token gift hampers could become a family tradition.
If they don’t live close by why not set up Skype for the occasion and have them cooking together over the internet. Who says family traditions need to be “traditional”. Marvels of modern tech means access to valued family time is at the touch of the button.
Tip #6 Share the foodie love
If you love a big Christmas event start a tradition where everyone brings their party day dish as their gift to everyone. We all know that Christmas is a time for massive food overindulgence. There is nothing like having a little bit of this and a bit more of that. Then pudding! Share the foodie love.
Christmas doesn’t need to be expensive and leave you feeling lacking. Make Christmas a time to embracing the saying: “collect experiences, not things.” Make Christmas an experience to remember for the many years to come sharing experiences with each other minus the expense.
Share your tips with us!
If you’re facing financial hardship over the Christmas period we are here to talk about a solution. Call us on 1300 887 211 or Book a Free No Obligation Phone Consultation with our friendly team and we can discuss debt management options specially focused on your personal situation.