Consolidation on the cards for Christmas spenders

As the New Year arrives, many people may be nursing more than a New Year’s Day hangover as the reality of Christmas spending and splurging on Boxing Day sales sinks in.

Research from AA Financial Services* shows that Christmas shoppers spent an average of £503.15 over the festive period. Nine per cent admitted to spending more than £1000.

  • Half (51%) admit to using a credit card over Christmas
  • Average festive spend was £503.15
  • Nine per cent spent more than £1000

Although ‘spare cash in bank account’ was the most popular way to pay for things over Christmas (67%), shoppers also commonly paid for Christmas expenses with credit cards which more than half (51%) used. The research shows that less than a third (29%) topped up their Christmas spending with savings.

Mark Huggins, Director of AA Financial Services said: “Putting Christmas on credit is a popular strategy to make your money go a bit further.

“But it’s easy to get a bit carried away and spend more than you intended to. For many, the Christmas spending hangover can mean that making ends meet is difficult in January.

“A balance transfer could be a good option to consider for those that want to consolidate Christmas spending along with other expenses. With careful budgeting it’s possible that a 0% balance transfer may be cheaper than paying back existing debts the cardholder has.”

The AA’s 28 month Balance Transfer Card offers members and non-members 0% for up to 28 months from the date the account is opened on balance transfers made in the first 60 days. Balance transfer handling fee of 2.9% (minimum of £3) applies. Representative example 18.9% p.a (variable) on card purchases. Equivalent to 18.9% APR representative (variable). Based on a credit limit of £1,200.

Richard Fenton of Doesn’t Grow On trees says:

It’s important to note that there are other deals out there to be had, so shop around before you commit to any one deal you might see, transferring any loan over to another provider must only be done if you know that you can keep up with payments on the new deal, chances are if you are struggling with your existing provider you will still struggle with any new one.

If you are finding your repayments difficult to meet maybe you should reach out to a Free money advice service for some sound advice, you can tell them about any deals you are looking at and they will be able to tell you if that’s a good root to take or not, depending on your circumstances etc, I would recommend www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk they can offer the following totally free of charge:

  • Advice and guides to help improve your finances
  • Tools and calculators to help you keep track and plan ahead
  • Support in person, over the phone and online