Although it is sad in a way, many of us are glad that the mad rush and chaos of Christmas is over for another year. However, most of us will now be licking the financial wounds and assessing just how much damage the festive season has caused to our credit cards. Christmas is a time when it is all too tempting to whip out the plastic at every opportunity and make impulse purchases for ourselves and for loved ones with the excuse 'Christmas comes but once a year' - well, this may be true but it can take the rest of the year to pay off the cost of this season.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with spreading the cost of Christmas over a year providing that you are not having to pay extra for the privilege. Many people have high interest credit cards, and after putting Christmas on the plastic spent the rest of the year struggling to repay the debt along with high monthly interest charges, which can really bump up the amount of time that it takes to clear the debt.
Another thing to remember is that you do not want to carry the debt over to the following Christmas, even if you are not paying interest on it, as otherwise you will end up adding the following Christmas's debt onto the existing debt, and it can soon spiral out of control. The ideal solution is to make sure that you get a good deal on a 0% balance transfer credit card, transfer your high interest credit card debts from this Christmas onto the new card, and get the debt paid off on a monthly basis within around ten or eleven months maximum.
This means that by next November you will be clear of this Christmas's debt, you will not have paid any interest to enjoy spreading the repayments, and you can better prepare yourself by taking out a 0% purchase credit card ready for next Christmas's purchases, so that you can once again spread your repayments without having to pay interest on your spending.
Of course, do remember that this time of year sees many people apply for balance transfer cards to rid themselves of the high interest credit card debt that they have accrued over Christmas, so it is a good idea to act quickly and get your card sorted out before you get by costly interest payments on the balance that you have built up on your existing cards.
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Reno Charlton, award-winning writer, shares her financial expertise as a contributing columnist for Credit Card Compare where you can compare 0% balance transfer credit cards and read the balance transfer credit card guide.