We all want to get our friends and family what they want this holiday season, but we shouldn’t have to break the bank in the process. Financial Consultant John Caserta shares his tips for avoiding holiday debt.
According to a recent survey by NerdWallet, 1 in 4 individuals who charged holiday gifts to their credit cards last year is still paying off that debt. During last year’s holiday season, the average shopper racked up over $1,000 in debt.
Holiday Shopping Tips:
-Set limits with family and friends and consider a gift swap. Having a limit removes the pressure of determining how much to spend.
-Consider alternatives to buying gifts.
-Invest in memories – rather than purchase gifts consider getting together with friends and family at home for a meal.
-Make charitable contributions.
-Don’t shop without a list. It will help avoid overspending or last minute impulse purchases.
-Research prices online.
-Compare prices of gifts online before heading out to the store.
-Use old gift cards.
-Create a holiday account.
-Save money throughout the year to use during the holiday season.
Tips for Paying Off Debt:
-Consolidate debt or transfer your debt to lower interest rate credit cards.
-Make the minimum payment on your cards and direct any extra payments to balances with the highest interest rate.
-Be aware of when an introductory rate expires – the new higher interest rate is usually charged on the original balance if the entire balance is not paid off during the promotional period.
-Set up automatic payments of the minimum amount due to avoid missed payments.