It might only be September, and you may still be thinking summer holidays rather than Christmas holidays, however, if you want to avoid credit card debts in the New Year it is never too early to start planning your Christmas spending. Avoid 2019 starting with an “argh!”, and get organised now!
Planning your Christmas spending does not mean you need to compromise on your celebrations. In fact, get it right and you can be celebrating entering the New Year by staying firmly in the black.
Credit Card Protection
When it comes to making larger than usual purchases at Christmas it is a good idea to use a credit card and take advantage of protections which come with them. For any goods bought for between £100 – £30,000 you are automatically protected under the Consumer Credit Act. This protection means if a trader goes out of business or the goods you have bought are faulty you get your money back from the credit card company, something not available with your regular debit card provider. However, if you want to make sure your Christmas spending is properly organised make sure you pay off the credit card by the agreed date with the lender to avoid paying any penalty fees.
Discounts & Gift Cards
As well as using your own money frugally, think about what discounts you might be able to use on your Christmas shopping. There are many voucher codes online which you can redeem against purchases and think about discounts available through workplace corporate schemes, and student and pensioner discounts which some retailers provide. Take the time to look for any gift cards you may have in a drawer as you can use them against purchases or even re-gift to someone, but do double check the terms and conditions on gift cards you wish to redeem or re-gift and most importantly check whether the card has expired as a gift card issued by a retailer often expires after two years.
Set Aside An Account
If you can, set aside an account you can start saving money in for your Christmas spending, this way when Christmas approaches you will not need to make difficult decisions over what you will spend your money on from your regular account. Now is actually a time to think about Christmas of 2019, why not set up an account with a Christmas saving club? This way, money is deposited elsewhere and come November or December you can withdraw money, often in the form of store gift cards which means there temptation to spend on other items is removed. However, remember that a Christmas Saving Club does limit you when it comes to spending and when you can withdraw.