5 Christmas Planning and Budgeting Tips to Reduce Credit Card Debt

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Having a wonderful Christmas holiday is easier said than done if you’re worried about the cost. For more than a third of us, Christmas credit card debt is looming large in the New Year. This translates into an increase in 0% balance transfer card requests, according to credit card provider Vanquis.

But there is light on the other side of the Christmas tree this year. The Vanquis The survey also reveals that the lockdown has allowed more of us to redefine our spending, and nearly a quarter of those polled are confident about managing their Christmas finances.

If you don’t feel quite the same level of self-confidence, it’s not too late to start planning and budgeting for Christmas. So, here are five simple, practical tips that can help you budget this Christmas and reduce New Year’s credit card debt.

1. Budget for food, gifts and activities

Christmas should be a fun time. Unfortunately, budgeting is anything but fun. Nonetheless, a Christmas budget is your friend and will have the biggest impact on reducing credit card debt in the New Year.

Calculate what you can to afford spend this Christmas (not what you would like As To). You can then divide that number and set a budget for food, gifts, and activities like seeing Santa or the Secret Santa office.

It’s also a good idea to set aside some funds for last minute trips and surprises so you don’t feel like you’re missing out on spontaneous drinks or parties.

2. Decide who will receive gifts this year (and how much you are willing to spend)

Most of us already know who we’re buying gifts for, but often the gift itself and how much we’re going to spend is a bit vague. Instead of leaving it at the last minute (and panicking over buying in a hurry), it’s worth planning what you’d like to buy now.

It doesn’t need to be set in stone, but by setting a budget per person and giving you an idea of ​​what to buy, you’ll be on the alert for great deals when shopping online or in the main street.

If you have loads of friends or extended family waiting for gifts, why not suggest putting a limit on what you each spend?

Another way to avoid credit card debt is to try making homemade gifts for gifts that make a difference.

3. Plan parties and gatherings in advance

If you’re hosting friends and family this year, having a plan can help you avoid spending more than you need to and lower your risk of getting into credit card debt.

Think about what foods you want to serve and clear up some freezer space so you can take advantage of supermarket deals when they pop up.

Likewise, think about what decorations you already own and if you really need more. If you really need more, it’s worth checking out the online markets before you hit the stores. Plus, if you have kids, take advantage! Mine are happy (and quiet) enough to spend a few hours making sugar paper chains in front of the TV.

4. Hunt discounts and sales

A deal is only a deal if you need it. Buying stuff “because it was in a sale” is not an example of saving money; it’s an example of how retailers get you to spend your money.

This is where Christmas gift lists can really help, as they keep you focused on what you really need to buy and for whom. There will, of course, be times when you drop off the list, but having a place to start means you’re less likely to deviate drastically.

To find the best deals, visit sites like bonscodes.co.uk and hotUKdeals.com. Plus, don’t forget Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday.

5. Use credit wisely to avoid accumulating credit card debt

Credit cards are undoubtedly very useful, especially around Christmas time. But the key is to control spending, which should be a natural side effect of Christmas planning and budgeting.

But if you’re worried that your credit card bill is already starting to climb, consider switching to a 0% balance transfer card sooner rather than later. Alternatively, consider a 0% shopping credit card instead.

Most of us naturally spend more on Christmas, but that doesn’t have to become an event that gets out of hand financially.

So grab a pen and paper, settle in with a cup of tea, and start planning and budgeting for Christmas right now. It can really help save on credit card debt and make you look forward to the New Year without the ghost of Christmas lurking around.

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