Credit Cards - Avoid Overspending at Christmas

By: David Collins

A recent survey has suggested that around half of us will spend more than we mean to over the festive season.

With demand for high-quality technological goods such as the Wii dominating the Christmas sales, for some it could prove to be a very expensive holiday season.

But it's not only presents that can contribute to festive debt, there's the outfit for the office party and the food for Christmas dinner - all of which can put strain on us and our wallets.

Then the New Year arrives, which brings even more worries as we then try and budget to pay off our credit cards and store cards.

However there are a few steps you can take to ensure that your festive spending doesn't go over budget:



  • Draw up a budget before the holiday season - work out how much ready cash and savings you have available and try and budget to within your cash limit, rather than opting for a credit card or breaking into your overdraft.


  • Take into account all the factors of Christmas - including clothes, food and decorations - and work out how much you wish to allocate to each area.


  • Calculating a budget can also help with the shopping process, drawing up a list of gifts for each person and budgeting accordingly could eliminate those long and frustrating shopping trips.


  • Avoid the lure of store cards this Christmas, the offers may seem tempting at the checkout, but high interest rates will lead to you paying off much more in the New Year.


  • If you're going to use a credit card for purchases this Christmas, there are now a wide variety of 0% credit cards available, along with some that offer cash back on purchases, which could equate to the cost of a present - depending on how much you choose to spend.


  • Be careful when shopping online, it may eliminate the long checkout queues, but it can be all too easy to overspend - draw up another budget for online purchases if need be.


  • With more of us now having access to an internet connection and e-mail address, you can save yourself a little money on cards by sending e-cards to your family and friends. Some of which are animated and can be personalised in order to help bring a little festive humour to inboxes, whilst saving you money on postage.
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