The summer holidays are the perfect time to explore the world beyond your backyard. However, it seems our wanderlust is leaving us with some hefty credit card debts.
According to finder.com.au’s recently released 2016 Australian Debt Lag Survey, 41 percent of Australians return home from a holiday with an average credit card bill of $2,075. As a nation, our post-holiday credit card bill sits at a whopping $7.5 billion.
What’s worse, 44 percent of the Australians with post-holiday credit card debt can’t pay it down within a month. Those Aussies then see their debt bills grow as the interest kicks in. Most keen travelers can say goodbye to their holiday credit card bill within six months, but 10 percent are taking at least a year to get on top of those expenses. By which time they’re probably ready for another holiday!
Don’t underestimate how quickly those interest charges add up. Aussies were charged $180 million in interest last year. That’s up from the $140 million we accrued in 2015.
If all those numbers are making you nervous, take a breath. You can repay your holiday debt faster with some simple strategies. First, get rid of the interest. Many lenders have 0% balance transfer deals giving you up to 24 months to pay down your balance. Switch your debt to one of these providers to avoid those mounting interest charges. Just make sure you know how much you need to pay each month to clear the debt, because a much higher interest rate will apply after the introductory period.
Commit to paying a set amount off your credit card bill each month without excuses. It’s a good idea to make this payment on pay day, before you can spend it on other things. Then resist the temptation to use your credit card. You’ll have a much harder time paying it down if you’re adding to the balance.
If you want to enjoy your holidays without the debt headache, speak to Chase Edwards. We can help you take control of your finances so you can enjoy the things you really want without reaching for the plastic. Call us on 1300 854 833 to arrange an appointment with one of our friendly financial experts.