With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, now is a good time to make sure your finances are in order. The team from Credit Savvy have compiled five tips to help ensure that post-Christmas credit hangover is a thing of the past.
Set yourself a budget and stick to it.
It can be tempting to go a little credit-crazy in the lead up to Christmas. There are countless Christmas specials, that great new toy your nephew has been asking for, the latest camera for taking amazing holiday snaps, new season swimwear for summer…but it’s important to be savvy about your finances. A great idea is to draw up a list of potential expenses over the holiday season – whether it’s gifts, clothes, trip-related expenses or tickets to events during this time. Work out how much you can afford and do your very best to stick to it.
Don’t leave it to the last minute.
The closer you get to Christmas, the more expensive gifts and holidays can become. Cheap plane tickets, hire cars and activities can be snapped up months in advance, so if you’re still unsure about your plans for the holiday season, now is the time to get organised and potentially save your wallet some heartache later on.
Make the most of your credit card perks.
Reading your credit card policy might not sound particularly thrilling, but you may be eligible for some great perks! A number of credit cards offer benefits such as complimentary travel insurance, extended warranty and accidental damage insurance on your purchases, or the ability to earn bonus reward points by buying Christmas gifts through certain stores.
Protect your credit reputation.
It’s a good idea to check your credit file information regularly using a free service like Credit Savvy to ensure there are no suspicious entries on your credit file. If you’re using your credit card frequently over the next few months, it’s important to use trusted, secure websites for online shopping or holiday bookings. When entering your personal and credit details, make sure the website URL starts with https and the website has a SSL certificate (there should be a small padlock in the address bar).
Set up direct debits while you’re on holidays
Make sure you don’t miss any bills while you’re up the coast or overseas. Repayments are probably the last thing on your mind while on holidays, so ensure peace of mind by setting up direct debits where possible.
As our MD Dirk says, “Taking a few simple steps to get financially ready for Christmas, can mean you relax and enjoy your well-deserved holidays without worrying about your bank balance and hefty credit card bills in the New Year.”