Christmas credit card woes

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Christmas has once again snuck up on us and although last year we promised ourselves we would be better prepared, save more money and have debt free credit cards ready for the big event, most of us find ourselves staring at the calendar wondering where the time and money went.

In the run up to Christmas our calendars get packed full of social events and festive catch-ups so it's no surprise that our credit cards get the biggest work out at this time. So, what items are putting the most pressure on Australian credit cards at Christmas?

Despite the spending we all do on gifts two of the highest costs go to items more likely to be enjoyed on, or before, Christmas day.

Festive feasts

Festive feasting adds one of the most significant financial strains to Australian’s back pockets. Last December the food retailing turnover actually fell 0.1 per cent proving that people are beginning to tighten their turkey strings and are becoming more conscious of the financial impact of the festive season. The Australian Government reports that turkey, ham, pavlova, ice cream and salads are among the most popular foods for Christmas.

Food plays a major part in the way we celebrate Christmas so don't forget to budget for the chocolate-coated peanuts and fresh seafood lunch.


Travel is an Australian love and there is nothing like Christmas holidays to entice the keen traveller. The Australian Bureau of Statics reported that Australian residents are nearly 40 percent more likely to travel overseas in December, with 908,600 short term departures in December last year, which is 37 percent more than the monthly average for 2012. Travel is not cheap, especially around peak periods, so a large chunk of the festive credit card debts can be contributed to the money guzzling travel bug.

However, what is Christmas without a much needed end of year holiday? You don't have to forgo your holidays in order to keep your credit card bill down, instead plan ahead and budget your holiday into your end of year spending. Having some idea of where your money may have gone for past Christmases will help direct where it goes this time round. That can make all the difference between spending and saving. So to find the best deals around town shop around online and compare prices and products.

RateCity has a great savings account calculator to help you budget for the crazy Christmas season.

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