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spend within your means this christmas

Reducing over-consumption and keeping debt to a minimum over christmas really is a good idea.

Ideally you want to avoid debt all together when Christmas shopping if possible, but many of us are already in a cycle of using a credit card before our wages are paid into our accounts, (and hopefully keeping on top of repayments isn’t too much of a problem).

As Christmas is one of the more expensive times of the year, it is very easy to spend beyond our normal monthly wages to cover additional costs. If you do have to use a credit card it’s good to be extra conscious of your spending and have a strategy to make on time repayments. Credit cards allow us the immediate joy of buying but put off the pain of payment, so can lure us into over spending very easily. To avoid a large credit card bill in January it’s worth considering the following:

  • It is easier to spend more than you normally would when using a credit card (compard with paying with cash or your savings account).
  • If you do need to use a credit card to get through Christmas, stock up on gifts and other essential supplies earlier in the year to help spread the cost out over a longer time period. This will mean you have more time to pay off your purchases and will make the cost of Christmas easier to absorb.
  • If you have a credit card ensure it has a low interest rate. Keep in mind that store credit cards usually have particularly high rates.
  • Paying cash is always the most effective way to reduce impulse buying because the psychology of handing over our hard earned cash makes the payment real.  Consider using a Debit Card over a Credit Card for online purchases.  
  • Consider setting up a Christmas Club account now (or something similar) to help stay ahead for next year
  • Set a spending limit and change your shopping habits now before you get into the spirit of the season.
  • Start making allowances now for the January credit card bill.
  • If you are still paying off last year's purchases you need to reduce this year's spending, let everyone know you are keeping it simple and having to stick to a budget.
  • Aim to pay off your Christmas shopping debt in three to four months, to minimise interest costs.

Less really can mean more.  Enjoy exchanging gifts with loved ones but aim to do so within your means. A less expensive Christmas doesn’t have to result in missing out, or being stingy, it’s simply being careful with your spending and being more conscious of each purchase, so you appreciate everything more. It will mean everyone can be truly relaxed, stress free and happy, allowing your family to have enjoyable memories of the Christmas holidays.