A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens’ famous festive morality tale, is one of literature’s most adapted stories.
From the famous 1938 version starring Reginald Owen to what’s undoubtedly the definitive reading featuring Jim Henson’s Muppets and Michael Caine, it’s an enduring yarn of seasonal spirit.
If, by some miracle, you don’t know the plot, here’s a brief synopsis: a cold-hearted miser called Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by a succession of ghosts, who proceed to show him the true meaning of Christmas. He has a change of heart, becomes a nice person and everyone lives happily ever after. The end.
If you’re battling your own financial ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, allow us to help…
The Ghost of Christmas Past
The second spectre Scrooge meets (the first being his former business partner, Jacob Marley) shows him scenes from his younger self’s Christmases.
If financial ghosts of Christmas past are still haunting you, you could do a lot worse than exorcising them with a balance transfer credit card.
You could potentially make big savings on the amount of interest you pay, but do your sums and check that the balance transfer fee doesn’t outweigh what you’ll save on repayments.
The Ghost of Christmas Present
The big-hearted Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the heart-warming family times that the likes of Bob Cratchit have while Scrooge stews at home. Even though the Cratchits had a meagre Christmas dinner, they still had a marvellous time.
If, like the Cratchits, you want to make the most of Crimbo on a limited budget, then a 0% credit card might just be the thing. It could allow you to spread your seasonal spending across the rest of the year and maybe even longer, interest-free.
But just as the Ghost of Christmas Present suddenly gets old and disappears, those 0% good times don’t last forever. You’ll start paying interest as soon as the interest-free term comes to an end.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
The most grisly ghoul which visits Scrooge is the Reaper-esque Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The hooded spectre shows Ebenezer the grisly end he will come to if he fails to mend his ways. It all proves too much for him, and he awakes next morning vowing to become a better person.
If you're determined to make a positive change (well, at least as far as your finances are concerned) you could do a lot worse than using your credit report as a starting point.
It’ll give you an idea of how credit-worthy you currently are, and of some of the things you can do to improve.