Photo by David Gomes

If you really want to thrive the most of your holiday but avoid paying any holiday debt, this article is for you.

Six months have passed, and the holiday season is again upon us! Not to mention that it is definitely the most beautiful – and wonderfully expensive – time of year. For many, that means dealing with buying presents for our loved ones. Your wallet can take a severe hit during the holidays between gifts, decorations, parties, and dinners. And with the economic plunge related to the pandemic looming, people are now feeling the pressure.

A lot of Americans fully plan to rack up a huge credit card debt during the season, admitting they will need three months or more to pay it off.

If you indeed want to make the most of your holiday this year but want to avoid paying for it well in January, here are five ways to help you control your credit card debt during the holidays.

Way #1. Budget, budget, budget! Santa is one of many who should be making a list and checking it twice. You must be prepared to help combat overspending since spending can get out of control during the holidays.

Make a list of those individuals you want to include on your “Nice” list, then go through your list carefully and write down precisely what you want to get each person, as well as the monetary amount of each gift. Sorting out your gift list provides a reality check. When you get to the bottom and add up the total, you get a good idea of how much it will cost. If your list is too expensive, you can reevaluate.

Way #2. Just Say “No” to Department Store Credit Cards. During the holidays, department stores or big box stores take the opportunity to ply their customers with special deals to get them signed up for a store credit card. However, these store cards come with sky-high interest rates. No matter your credit score, you will likely look at an interest rate in the high 20s.

You could lose your money if you received 20% off your purchase when you opened the card and still need to pay off your balance.

If you want that 20% discount, ensure you have the cash needed to finance off your balance immediately. Then you will not carry a credit card balance over the next month and will not have to deal with a massive interest charge.

Way #3. Get Started On Next Year. Get a jump on the holidays and really start saving. Create an emergency fund to help with those little, unexpected expenses that crop up every December.

The significant part about giving yourself advance notice is you can put little increments into your savings funds because you will have a whole year to build your account. Once you have got some money saved up, promptly forget about it. That way, when you make your gift list and budget next year, you will have some cash ready. This will serve as a gift for yourself!

Way #4. Go the Gift Exchange Route. Say you have five family members and five friends to buy for. Those ten gifts will take a big bite out of your paycheck. If you do need to draw in the spirit but need to be able to keep your electricity on, suggest a gift exchange. That way, you will only have one person to buy for, and your stress level will significantly reduce.

Way #5. Do Not Try To “Be Like With the Joneses.” You may have that rich uncle who gives everyone $100 each year. Or, your best friend might have a great-paying job, so she already owns two of everything.

If you feel like everyone has oodles of cash to spend and you are still scraping by on a shoestring budget, do not fret. Holidays, in reality, are all about spending time with your friends and family. Thus, do not waste time figuring out ways to spend money on them.

Contact A Debt Relief San Diego Attorney

Sometimes holiday spending can be just the thing that catapults you into a debt spiral. If your shopping habits pushed your credit card debt into an unmanageable amount, you should talk to a bankruptcy attorney about your options. The Law Offices Of Ronald E. Stadtmueller, a debt relief San Diego firm, is happy to offer a free consultation where you can go over your bills and craft a plan to free you from your debt. Call us at 858-564-9310 to schedule a no-obligation consultation at any of our four locations: Mission Valley, Rancho Bernardo, San Marcos, and La Jolla, or visit us online.

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