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It’s The Dreaded “After Christmas” Credit Card Bill Time.

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Photo by szlea

Any day now, the bills from your Christmas shopping trips are going to start showing up. In fact, I just got my credit card statement from the one card we use for almost everything, and it is not pretty. As much as we tried to maintain some restraint on what we bought (along with hand making a lot of gifts) we still managed to rack up almost $1,000 in credit card receipts for the holidays. My wife and I set a cap of about $100 for each other, leaving about $800 for everybody else. And we have big families!

So now that the bill has arrived, I can see how easily small purchases can add up. We don’t normally budget a certain amount to spend on everyone else, but we didn’t really think the bill was going to be this high. $15, $25, $30 gifts sure add up when you buy a lot of them and pay to ship them home. Mind you I am not complaining about how much we spent; but rather I am amazed at how things add up.

The first order of business is to pay off this credit card as the interest rate is astronomical because it’s a rewards card and thus we never keep a balance on it at all. Who wants to pay 23% interest on Christmas gifts? The way I see it I have 2 choices – I can make 2 payments of $500 over the next month before the final due date or I can bite the bullet and pull $1000 out of one of the money market accounts and send it on it’s merry way. I think I will do #2 as I want to get it over with and not worry about the balance or having it hanging over my head for the next couple of weeks.

How are you handling your bills from this holiday season? Are you getting rid of them right away? Did you pay cash for everything? Are you taking a few months to pay them all off? If so, be sure the interest rate is really low!

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Comments (15)

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  1. No bills for holiday gifts here: It was all done in CASH!

  2. Paid cash. We store $100 each month in a separate ING account so that we can pay for gifts throughout the year and at Christmas.

    We also didn’t buy anything for each other and aimed for a $500 amount for everyone else.

  3. david says:

    That’s awesome, I wish everyone did that! We use our cards to get the rewards, but I guess we could have paid cash. Plus, using credit extends any warranties. But either way, being able to pay for it right away is very important!

  4. Paid all with credit cards but I was relatively frugal – thus no major unexpected bills!
    -Raymond

  5. JR says:

    Paid rewards CC off with cash with the same method as The Happy Rock. Works like a charm!

  6. A couple of years ago, I would have been dreading my credit card bill around this time of the year. Now, I don’t have to worry about it because all my Christmas purchases were paid for with a rewards credit card and the bill has been paid. I budgeted a certain amount of money for gifts and did not exceed that amount. I then immediately sent the payment to pay off the balance in full.

  7. boomer says:

    Paid cash. Christmas? What Christmas?

  8. Mrs. Micah says:

    Didn’t buy gifts. We may at some point, but we don’t have kids and we don’t people that we weren’t giving and didn’t need gifts and all that…

  9. [...] My Two Dollars – It’s The Dreaded “After Christmas” Credit Card Bill Time. [...]

  10. Richard from NY says:

    Debt free Christmas! Actually after Christmas my wife and I walked into 2 different stores to payoff credit cards as part of our dent snowball, that was our Christmas present to each other since we only bought for the kids…

  11. David says:

    I am so glad so many people had a debt-free Christmas – imagine if everyone did the same thing. Congrats everyone!

  12. James says:

    I will pay it off next month.

  13. Interestingly enough, my anti-spam word was ‘poor.’ Anyway, I paid cash for everything – all 40 lottery tickets for $40.

  14. Sue says:

    Congrats to Richard from NY. That is awesome.

  15. Michelle says:

    I managed to pay cash for everything this year. It is a great feeling. Last year I didn’t have a job and was bartending and working odd jobs to make ends meet. I didn’t pay cash for anything. This year I put away $200 in October and November for Christmas and I well timed 6-month bonus from my “new” job took care of the rest.

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