Jessica Wright is considering shifting her credit card debt to a balance transfer card with zero interest after a blowout over Christmas plunged the family finances into the red.
The Brisbane-based woman is facing a predicament shared by many Australians – the nation collectively spent about $30 billion on credit cards in December.
Ms Wright, 36, usually puts $4000 a month through a Coles Mastercard to earn Fly Buys points. But last month there was an extra $5500 in spending – she bought her parents flights to Hawaii for her mother's 60th birthday, bought Christmas presents for her three young children, and then the family's washing machine broke down.
On top of that the household income slumped because her husband, the family breadwinner, unexpectedly had less work than usual.
"I usually pay it off in full but there's no way it's going to happen this month," Ms Wright said. "There's a little bit of remorse because when I decided to buy the tickets for my parents, I didn't realise my husband's work would be all over the place – he usually earns good money but he had three weeks off over Christmas that we hadn't planned for so that made it hard. I knew it would be a struggle but not as bad as it got and the washing machine – well, I didn't see that coming."
Ms Wright said it made no sense to pay high interest on the Coles Mastercard so she'd look for a balance transfer deal. She believes she can pay it off before the higher interest kicks in, as long as the interest holiday is longer than six months.