How to your handle Christmas spending for a debt-free new year

person carrying a lot of christmas gifts they bought on credit card and needing to pay off debt

How were you over Black Friday? Snuck in some sneaky Cyber Monday spending? Maybe treated the whole month of November as a free-for-all and now there’s a gaping wound where your savings used to be? 

Before you start a stress spiral, pull back. Take a few breaths. We’re here with some options for getting on top of that Christmas shopping spend or Black Friday hangover before the New Year rolls around. 

Once you’ve decided to tackle those extra dollars hanging over your head, there are multiple avenues towards shaking debt so that you can start 2023 with a fresh slate.

Pick a balance transfer credit card

Fighting the temptation to cut up all your credit cards or bury them in the back garden? Credit cards can actually be a useful tool for chipping away at debt, if you use them wisely. A lot of it comes down to moving away from spending and looking towards a balance transfer credit card.

A balance transfer card will allow you to move your balance onto a new card and pay it down with very low interest. Some cards will even offer an extended interest-free period on the balance you transfer over, though you may have to pay an initial fee on transfer.

This isn’t an indefinite solution, though. If you have a 0% interest balance transfer offer, be sure to check the revert rate: after the offer finishes, any remaining balance will be paid at what is usually quite a high interest rate.

Take out a debt consolidation loan

The idea of taking out a loan - AKA more debt - to pay off existing debt sounds, frankly, terrifying. That is how debt consolidation loans work. This method is mostly effective if you have multiple sources of debt with different instalments and repayment schedules, as it works to bring all of your debts together into one singular personal loan with one set of repayments.

As opposed to having a car loan, personal loan, and store lay-by to pay off, a debt consolidation loan means you’ll have one repayment to make. This can prove more manageable, and depending on the loans, can accrue less interest. 

Just make sure to do your research - this might not be the option for you if you’re close to paying off one of your loans, or if one is a loan with a much lower interest rate. 

Refinance your home loan

Lucky enough to own some property? If you’re a home-owner, you may be in a position to refinance your home loan now that you have some equity in it.

You aren’t in the same financial position that you were when you purchased your property, and there’s no reason to stay on the same home loan (unless of course it’s the best deal!) If you are interested in refinancing, you’ll be able to look at home loans with lower LVR (loan-to-value ratio), as you most likely hold greater equity.

If your debt goes beyond a bit of excessive Black Friday shopping and you’re dealing with more serious financial hardship, contact the National Debt Helpline.

Interested in finding the right credit card for you this season? Tick off your credit card wishlist. See some more options with Mozo’s best credit cards.