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With the holiday season quickly approaching, chances are that the majority of us are relying on the use of credit cards for at least a percentage of our holiday shopping. Although many people save throughout the year people often rely on credit cards to take care of the deficit in the gift-giving budget.
As long as you use the credit card responsibly throughout the holidays – than you wont have to face the music when it comes time to repay the debt. Use your credit card properly this holiday season, here’s how:
Although you are shopping with a credit card that may have a high credit limit, shop with a budget in mind and do not exceed this budget. Before venturing out to the busy stores create a list with the amount that is being spent on each person.
A holiday budget includes much more than gifts, like: holiday dinner costs, vacation costs, last minute gifts or hostess gifts, Christmas trees and decorations as well as Christmas cards. Using the credit card wisely that will adhere to your payment schedule means that you won’t be paying for this Christmas next year!
Do you have a rewards credit card? If so, determine if the gifts on your list are available at the stores which will yield the most results. Alternatively, the rewards can be used to obtain gift cards, cash back or even household items which can be used as gifts throughout the holiday season. This could save you hundreds of dollars in Christmas gifts and hosting costs.
Start early! There are many gifts that can be purchased well before the holidays – up to six months before. Electronics, games and household items, as well as fragrances like stocking stuffers, nail polishes and manicure kits can be purchased well in advance. Use a set amount of the Christmas budget each week to fund these purchases.
Immediately after the shopping has been completed it is important to implement a payment plan that will include the repayment of Christmas expenses as quick as possible. Did you receive a Christmas bonus? Perhaps you could apply some of this extra money to paying off the Christmas gifts that have been already purchased, better yet, use some of these funds to purchase Christmas gifts and avoid adding to the credit card balance.
Come January, you don’t want to be one of the may customers faced with overwhelming holiday debt. Pay off the credit cards as quick as possible. Use these tips to ensure responsible spending throughout the holiday season and ensure that you aren’t one of the customers who are faced with a “holiday hangover” come New Years! After all, overwhelming debt isn’t a great way to start the New Year.