Banish Christmas credit card woes

With Christmas fast approaching, it’s all too easy to charge the extra costs associated with the festivities on your credit card. However, this can amount to a nasty shock when the New Year rolls around. While some expenses are unavoidable, there are some creative ways to reduce your Christmas credit woes.

  1. Canny shoppers will have already bagged bargains in the many sales which take place in the lead up to Christmas, using layby to help spread the costs. However, if you feel that you have missed the boat, consider giving a promise voucher rather than a gift, and either buy your gifts in the post-festive sales, or layby now and give the gift when it’s paid off.
  2. Kris Kringle is possibly one of the more fun ways to stop your gift list from escalating to crazy proportions. Simply get your family together pre-Christmas, pop names in a hat and choose the one person for whom you’ll buy a gift.
  3. Food shopping bills go through the roof at Christmas, but this is often because we simply buy stuff that we don’t need. Make a list and stick to it, don’t be tempted by ‘specials’ as you’ll simply end up with food that you won’t use. Make the most of the points that you’ve collected on your rewards cards to reduce your bill, or purchase gift cards for your favourite supermarket using frequent flyer points.
  4. Don’t do it all yourself. Even if you’ve agreed to have everyone for dinner on Christmas Day, get them to chip in, either by bringing a plate, or making a financial contribution to the overall cost.
  5. Sentimental re-gifting. Rather than simply rewrapping the unwanted toiletries that you received last year, consider giving something which means something to you, and which you know will be cherished by the recipient. A hand-written note makes it all the more special.

Do you have any clever tips that you wish to share?

Written by Debbie McTaggart