It’s that time of year again! When our wallets get lighter and our headaches get bigger! Whilst this is season that’s meant to be full of joy and happiness, all too often we wake up in January with a massive credit card hangover that can take us until the following festive season to get back on track. Here are our end-of-year spending tips to help you avoid the dreaded January credit card bill:
Pay with cash
When you pay by credit card you don’t really give much thought to the expenditure, but when you pay with cash or debit card you have to know that you have the money before you can make the purchase.
Resist Impulse Shopping
We all love those red high heel pumps or digital SLR camera as much as the next shopper, but before you give into temptation, make a list of what you need before you hit the shops. Read catalogues and check online to find the best prices before you leave home.
Set a Limit
When it comes to gift buying, parties or holiday activities, set yourself a limit and stick to it. Also consider reducing your credit card limit down to the bare minimum to avoid the urge to splurge at the last minute on items you can’t afford.
As an alternative to store-bought gifts, tap into your inner talents and give the gift of your skill and time – babysitting, cooking, car-washing, mowing, gardening, computer repairs etc are all great gifts to give to those that are in need of these services.
Be aware of interest-free deals
These are designed to trap you into high interest later on. Circumstances can change quickly and if you can’t pay the balance during the interest-free period, you will be left struggling to pay higher interest chargers.
Spread your costs
Try to shop for gifts throughout the year instead of madly dashing around during December and spending a large lump sum all at once. Take advantages of sales throughout the year and even put some money into a Christmas club account each week to help manage your end-of-year costs. Lay-by is also a great option that has been regaining traction lately, so it’s well worth taking advantage of this option.
If you get into trouble with your finances, it’s always better to ask for help sooner rather than later. We encourage you to contact us for any assistance you may need to cope with festive season spending.