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Prepare yourself for post-Christmas spending

Christmas is usually a very expensive time of year for most people, and after spending money on gifts, clothes, outings, entertainment, and food for the big day, you could find yourself pretty strapped for cash once January comes around. However, with many people desperate to escape the stress and the winter blues and jet off on vacation once Christmas is over, and many others wanting to splurge out in the January sales, the expense just never seems to end.

If you have pretty much wiped out your savings on Christmas spending, but you still want to enjoy getting away from it all or bagging a few bargains in the sales once Christmas and New Year are over, you may be thinking about applying for a credit card or loan to help with your cash flow. For those intending to do this, there are a couple of things to bear in mind to help you to avoid disappointment and to ensure that you do not end up spending more than you have to.

Firstly, if you intend to splash out on a post Christmas break or enjoy some retail therapy in the sales, you need to look for a card that offers value for money. So, if you intend to spread the repayments on your credit card then you should look out for cards that offer a generous 0% interest on purchases period, buying you more time to clear the balance that you accrue without having to pay interest on your balance. You may also find cards that offer additional benefits or rewards, such as travel benefits, which could prove particularly useful if you are planning a holiday.

Another thing to remember is that at this time of year the credit card companies often get a mass influx of applications, with consumers applying for credit to cover the cost of Christmas as well as for after the Christmas and New Year period. You should therefore make your application early on, as processing of applications can take longer at this busier time of year

Alisdair Milton
22 November 2006




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