The Bargain Hunter: Cut your credit card costs with scissors


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The Independent Online

In the last Bargain Hunter column this year we're publishing some tips from different folk on how to save money. For starters, here's mine: cut up your credit card! If you take temptation out of the way, you won't be able to run up further debt and be charged high interest rates. Then concentrate on paying off the balance as quickly as possible. You'll save a packet in future charges!

Leave the festive shopping till Monday

Halifax branch manager Hannah Hill is a volunteer with financial education programme Money for Life. She advises buying presents on the cheap on Monday: "If you can hold out, wait until the Christmas sales to buy the bulk of your Christmas gifts. Last year most high street shops began their seasonal sales on Christmas Eve, slashing prices by as much as 75 per cent."

Switch savings for the better rates

Here's some good sense from Anna Bowes of Savings Champion: "Don't leave money in an uncompetitive account. It may seem like simple advice but with rates falling heavily for savers, now more than ever you could find yourself earning virtually no interest on your savings if you don't switch regularly. For instance, if someone handed you an extra £1,125 would you say no? That's the difference between a poor-paying account and one of the best easy-access accounts for someone investing £50,000."

Walk the walk with a pre-pay plastic card

Finally, thanks to lifestyle coach Margot Bloom, right, for the following tip: "Use a pre-pay plastic card for personal spending, such as nights out or shoes. Top it up every month with the amount that is comfortable to your budget and if by the middle of the month you have spent it all, that must-have pair of shoes will have to wait. Or if you don't spend it all and carry over a balance to the next month, you can get the must-have shoes in two colours!"

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