Christmas is coming. Love it or hate it, it’s only 44 days away.  Whatever your feelings are towards Christmas, it generally tends to be an expensive time of year.  Good budgeting can help you avoid the financial burden in the New Year, as well as help you to feel more in control of your finances.

It is important to consider how you’re going to cover the costs associated with Christmas. Firstly, you should consider what your budget is going to be, and then make sure you stick to it!  If you’re considering a credit card, here are some tips to choose the right one for you.

  • Take out a 0% purchases credit card.  You will need to apply now otherwise you many not receive it in time to do your Christmas shopping.  By having 0% interest on purchases, it will help you spread the cost of paying off any balance you have on the card.  Make sure you don’t use this card for balance transfers; this may cause you to start racking up interest charges. Only use it for purchases and pay off the outstanding balance before the 0% deal ends.
  • Load money onto a prepaid credit card. If you have been lucky enough to save in advance, then you may wish to load that money onto a prepaid card rather than carry large amounts of cash around with you.  There are many options on the market, and some cards offer discounts with online shopping retailers.  It’s a great way to manage your Christmas budget without being tempted to overspend.
  • A rewards or cashback card could be ideal if you have an excellent credit rating. A rewards or cashback card will reward you with points or cash whenever you spend on your card.  These cards will often have higher APRs, which charge you much higher interest on any outstanding balance. For this reason, it’s advisable that you pay off your balance in full each month. It’s also worth checking your credit rating before you apply for this sort of card; if you don’t have an excellent rating you are likely to be rejected and will have wasted the application.

Hopefully these tips will help you get a grip on your Christmas finances, so you can see in the New Year in without any financial burdens or unmanageable debts.