Top 10 tips to stay in the black this Christmas
We all know that Christmas can be an expensive time and when that credit card bill hits in January it can be a sobering introduction to the New Year! It’s very easy to get into financial difficulty after an expensive Christmas and the last thing you want to do is start off the New Year with a load of debt hanging around you. With that in mind here are our top 10 tips for staying in the black this Christmas. Please note that these are practical things to think about…..they are not kill-joy measures!
1. Compare present prices. With the Christmas rush it’s easy to get swept up with the frenzy and buy things without shopping around to get the best price. Before making any big purchases check out comparison sites like Kelkoo and Pricerunner to make sure you are getting the best deal. It’s surprising the savings you can make doing this.
2. With approximately 8 weeks to go before Christmas try and put £20 to £30 a way each week. This will give you from £160 to £240 that you can set aside which will come in very handy for January’s credit card bill and fuel bill!
3.If you need to put your shopping on a credit card you still have time to get some 0% deals on purchases up to 18 months. You’ll need to act fast but major players like the NatWest, Halifax, M&S and Tesco are doing deals like this at the moment.
4. With the increasing prices in energy shop around now for a better deal on your energy tariff. This will save you money not just for Christmas but for the year ahead as well.
5. Be careful about using store cards. Some companies charge APRs of up to 30% so you definitely don’t want to leave anything unpaid on them. Some companies will offer you discounts for using a store card for the first time. Take advantage of this and then cut them up! Don’t get seduced into using them long-term.
6. Check out discount code and voucher websites like Vouchercodes and Quidco. You can often get some good discounts and cash back options that will help you with your budget.
7. Check out what loyalty and reward points that you may have which you haven’t yet redeemed. It’s a startling fact that over £200 million loyalty and reward points go unspent every year so see what might be owing to you on things like Nectar and Tesco Clubcard and make sure that they don’t go to waste.
8. Plan ahead for your Christmas food. It’s amazing how much Christmas food gets thrown away because of a failure to plan appropriately. Set out your itinerary, determine when you are going to be at home, who you might be inviting and times you are away from your home. If you plan your food and drinks shopping accordingly you will make some great savings and not waste so much.
9. Christmas can often involve a lot of travel so don’t leave it to the last minute. Prices for flights, rail travel etc get more expensive the closer you get to Christmas so book your travel plans now and save money.
10. If you have a huge credit card bill in January and you can’t pay it all off then try and shift the excess amount to a 0% balance transfer card. There are usually plenty of these deals around in the New Year.
And there you have it! A practical guide to staying in the black this Christmas and making it the happy and prosperous season it is supposed to be!
Don’t Let Christmas be a Cause for Your Debt