It’s no real secret that, between costly Christmas gifts and pricey New Years plans, Aussie credit cards work up quite the sweat over the holiday season.
In fact, late last year Mozo predicted that, once the smoke cleared in the new year, the average credit cardholder would end the festive period with a $3,700 credit card bill.
But not to worry, if you’re determined to conquer your credit card debt early in 2018, we have 5 money-saving hacks that will have you feeling financially free again in no time.
1. Carry cash
Aussies have certainly taken to the contactless revolution, but despite there being a bunch of novel ways to pay, there is arguably nothing more powerful for the frugally-minded than cash.
Playing on our possessive habits, parting with a $5 note on the morning coffee run is a lot harder than simply tapping your card or phone (or watch) and could help you cut your costs, meaning one thing - more money for credit card repayments.
The added benefit of stocking your wallet full of cash and banishing plastic for a little while is that you’ll become a whole lot less likely to get yourself any further into credit card debt, so consider sticking to a cash budget until your credit card debt dissipates.
2. Remove your credit card details from online shopping portals
Online shopping is convenient, at times, too convenient.
While auto-saved payment information might have been a real time-saver during the Chrissy shopping haul, now that you’re trying to avoid unnecessary expenditure it is a good idea to delete your pre-saved payment details for your favourite online retailers.
Forcing you to physically reach for your plastic might force you to think twice about whether those new shoes or sunnies are worth the extra few weeks or months it will take to pay off your credit card debt.
3. Start a side hustle
If your budget is tightly balanced, generating another avenue of income is a great option to get on top of your credit card debt and doesn’t necessarily mean you need to dive into your own business.
Nowadays, you can earn extra cash doing a range of little jobs - whether it be driving for Uber or filling in surveys online - and the best news is that, as this is a totally new stream of money, it can be used solely to pay off credit card debt without having to rejig your budget.
4. Consider a debt consolidation loan
Maybe you were a little too generous with the family’s Christmas gifts last year, or bought a few too many mojitos at the holiday resort bar and now you’ve gotten yourself into a real plastic pickle.
If this is the case, consider ditching credit cards altogether and opting to consolidate your debt into a personal loan. By doing this, you’ll only have one repayment to make each month (compared to the two or three cards you’re juggling balances on at the moment) and will often be rewarded with cheaper rates than the standard credit card.
Check out a range of options to consolidate your credit card debt using Mozo’s debt consolidation comparison table and find out what your repayments would look like with our personal loan repayment calculator.
5. Blast debt with a balance transfer credit card
Avoiding interest charges for as long as 18 or even 26 months might seem too good to be true, but it isn’t.
If you’re after some breathing room to attack the your credit card’s principal balance without having to worry about any ongoing interest charges, it is worth looking into a balance transfer credit card with a lengthy interest free period.
Just be sure to pay off the balance in full before the interest free period ends and the pricey revert rate kicks in, and keep an eye out for any balance transfer fees (typically 1-3%) that you might be charged with.