Surviving the Holidays Financially: Money Expert’s Tips for a Debt-Free Christmas


According to a survey conducted by the debt charity StepChange, a mere 25% of individuals expressed confidence in their ability to comfortably afford Christmas expenses this year. 

Deliberate consideration of your holiday expenditures can alleviate financial strain, providing a sense of control and facilitating prudent decision-making.

In the event that you opt for financial management through credit cards or loans, exercise caution and ensure that you can effectively handle the ensuing repayments.

Pro Strategies for a Debt-Free Christmas

Monitor Your Credit Usage Wisely

Employing credit as a means to distribute Christmas expenses can be a judicious choice, particularly when utilizing a credit card with a 0% interest rate. 

However, exercising caution in its usage is paramount, as inadvertent misuse may adversely impact your credit score.

Prior to initiating expenditures, it is imperative to ascertain and be cognizant of your credit limit. 

Exceeding the agreed-upon credit limit can be detrimental to your credit score, conveying to lenders that you may be struggling with existing debt. 

Moreover, surpassing the limit often incurs additional costs, with most lenders imposing fees and interest for such instances.

Maintain prudence in credit utilization to preserve your credit score. Strive to keep credit usage within the range of 30-50 percent of your total limit.

Be Mindful of Overspending Risks

The fundamental principle regarding credit is to limit expenditures to what can be comfortably repaid.

However, during the holiday season, expenditures can escalate, particularly in the absence of a predefined budget.

 Therefore, prior to commencing expenditures, it is advisable to establish a Christmas budget. 

For those who have found traditional methods such as paper lists and spreadsheets ineffective, exploring the use of a mobile application may prove beneficial.

Recognizing Store Credit as Actual Credit

According to a survey conducted by the debt charity StepChange, a mere 25% of individuals expressed confidence in their ability to comfortably afford Christmas expenses this year.

Numerous retailers provide promotions related to store credit, whether in the form of a store card or through the option to distribute the cost of a purchase across several months. 

While this may appear appealing and advantageous, it is important to note that obtaining store credit may necessitate a credit check, resulting in an entry on your credit report. 

Consequently, it is advisable to refrain from applying for an excessive amount of store credit within a brief timeframe, as this could create the impression of financial difficulties, even if the primary intention is to secure a discount.

Practice Prudence in BNPL Usage

When using buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services, streamline organization by utilizing one account at a time for scheduled payments to avoid complications. 

Record payment dates in a diary to guarantee adequate funds are available.

Maintaining a spending limit and adhering to a budget is essential to prevent potential overspending with BNPL services. 

Lastly, link BNPL accounts to a debit card instead of a credit card to utilize personal funds and eliminate the risk of interest charges.

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