Healthy Credit For The Holidays: 3 Tips For Happy Holidays
The holiday season is upon us and once again the influx of sales and new items on the market look to empty our pockets and make us regret even having credit cards. We brace ourselves for the financial vacuum of the year and desperately try to climb our way out of it in the following months. Although the end of the year is a special time and the urge to spend money is felt more so than any other time of the year, there are ways to avoid putting yourself in a nasty, debt-ridden situation.
Even though the holidays arrive at the same time every year it always seems to creep up on you at the last moment, doesn’t it? You turn around and there it is, looming over you with holiday feasts and presents to be purchased. The need to make the holidays special, be it for yourself or your loved ones, is pressing, but it doesn’t have to be. Remember to make your holiday plans ahead of time so you aren’t caught off guard. Work any extra holiday expenses into your monthly budget and stick to the plan through the end of the year. The first step in tackling the problem is to be prepared. Take into account the things you want to buy and the things you need to pay for, i.e. bills, rent, etc.
Protect Your Information
With the massive move to make the buying process easier, more and more people are purchasing their items online. I get it, you’re sitting at home and you want that awesome new video game but you don’t want to wait in line for the chance to be turned down because the store is out of stock. It’s just easier to point and click your gift to you or whoever you’re sending it to. Always remember, however, that there is an increased risk of identity theft when using your information online. Do your best to limit your spending through electronic means. If you must then make sure the site has encryption software in place to protect your information. You’ll generally see signs of protection programs upon reaching the payment screen to put your mind at ease.
Limit Your Spending, Maintain Healthy Credit
Most people have multiple credit cards that they use on a regular basis, with one or two cards for emergencies. Since charges to these cards can be small throughout the rest of the year the consequence is usually small. But the holidays are a different story and require careful planning. One effective strategy to maintaining a hold on your credit is to limit your purchases to using one or two credit cards. In doing so you also limit the amount of credit card minimum payments to make afterwards. It might not seem beneficial at first, but with proper budgeting you will see any holiday debt shrink away before it has a chance to get out of hand.
There are many things that come with the holidays that make them seem daunting. Family travels, increased utility usage and more can put anyone in a state of panic. Knowing what to do before, during and after the holidays with your money will put you in a position of power and help you to think less about your money and more about the gifts you’re going to buy. If you take control of your finances you will be able to enjoy your holidays.