Three Ways to Prevent Post-Holiday Shopping Debt
’Tis the season for debt! Are you planning to take out loans to pay for holiday gifts and Black Friday deals this year? Well, you’re not alone. Studies show Americans rack up an average of $1,000 of debt during the holiday season. And even with everything we’ve been through in 2020, experts are still projecting an increase in sales this holiday season.
Now, some consumers manage to pay off their Christmas debt by March or April of the following year. But for others, each year’s holiday spending just gets hopelessly tacked onto an ever-growing account balance. And that’s NOT the Flyy Credit way.
So, if debt has you trading in holiday cheer for holiday stress, it’s time to rethink the way you spend money during this season.
And we’ve got 3 ways to help you do precisely that.
Way #1: Set a Budget
It’s easy to get carried away with gifts, decorations, food and other festive holiday buying, especially when you have no goals or limits. To keep your spending under control, create a budget based on how much money you have left to “play” with AFTER you pay your bills, and then stick to it.
Now, if after sitting down and looking at the numbers, you find you don’t have much money to spend on gifts, you have options. You could arrange a Secret Santa gift exchange with your family and friends. Participating in a Secret Santa gift exchange means you’ll only buy a gift for ONE person versus a whole lot of people. PLUS, it makes gift-giving way less stressful when you suddenly have fewer presents to buy.
Another option is to give from the heart. Think fresh-baked cookies or a redeemable coupon for a cleaning chore. Lastly, don’t be afraid to completely opt out. Your friends and family might just be grateful for a decision not to exchange presents because it means they can steer clear of holiday debt too.
Way #2: Work a Side Hustle
Work! It’s a surefire way to prevent holiday debt this season. Even if you’re not exchanging extravagant gifts, you’ll find that your expenses increase just from holiday dinners and extra traveling for seasonal activities (yes, even as I write this, millions of people are traveling for Thanksgiving).
Try fitting in some extra work hours in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Depending on where you are in the U.S., some stores need help during the holidays, and companies like Amazon and UPS look for seasonal workers to deliver a plethora of packages. Make sure to check with online businesses too. You will find plenty in need of help for the holidays (ie customer service, order fulfillment, etc).
Way #3: Use the Right Credit Card
Think about the way you’re paying for your gifts and holiday meal items. You can easily put cash back in your pocket by choosing a card that offers excellent rewards.
Creditors know you’re bound to spend holiday money, and they’re eager for your business. They may offer you extra bonus points or lower your interest rate if you buy during their specified purchase period.
Watch your mail for special offers from your creditors. Then choose the card that will offer you the most money and use it to offset the debt you’d normally incur during the season.
Are you looking at a mountain of debt each holiday season? Create a budget for yourself, work a lucrative side hustle and use credit card reward points to make holiday debt a little less painful. Get your money on-track and set yourself up for financial independence. Schedule a free consultation or become a member today to get more helpful credit and personal finance advice.