Christmas is almost here, meaning the shopping season is in full swing. Between gift giving, travel and holiday parties, the expenses add up quickly this season. Many find themselves struggling to figure out a way to pay for it all, and turn to credit cards so they can afford the holidays.
For those turning to cards this year, here are some tips to keep your debt to a minimum:
Create A Budget
The holiday season should not be an excuse to spend wildly. Just like other purchases throughout the year – determine how much money you can afford to spend. If you are using a credit card, you are borrowing that money, which means you can not afford it.
Have A Plan
Make a list of exactly who you plan to buy for and what you want to give them. Once you’ve bought their gift, cross them off. Don’t give in to the temptation of buying additional little gifts throughout the season that are just “perfect for them”. This also goes for who is on your list. You are not Santa, and thus not expected to buy for everyone you know. If you are worried that someone not on your list may have a gift for you, keep a few bottles of wine wrapped up under the tree in case they pop by.
If you have a large group of friends, colleagues or family, instead of buying for each person, try secret santa or white elephant gift exchange.
Borrow Party Clothes
Instead of spending a fortune on a new dress for your work party, see if you can borrow one from a friend.
Sell old items for holiday cash
Go though your clothes and sell the stuff you never wear on Carousell or Refash. You can also post items for sale on Facebook. Holiday Cleaning can especially be a win-win when it comes to kids toys – tell them that to make room for their new gifts, they need to give away the items they don’t play with anymore.
Pay it off quickly
If you do wind up using credit cards, pay off your balance as soon as you can, within the billing cycle, to avoid costly interest charges.