The holiday season is meant to bring happiness. It is a time to share with family and friends. It is a time to indulge in large meals, attend parties, and share gifts. It can also be a time when a person goes into too much debt. Avoiding the holiday debt problem is possible, it just takes a little bit of creativity and some planning.
1. Take Advantage Of Your Credit Card Rewards.
Many credit cards give you points or cash back options on your credit cards as a reward for using their card. Take advantage of the rewards that you have accumulated by cashing them in for gift cards that you can give as gifts or taking the cash to use for holiday spending. offer. Many cards will offer special discounts to their card members if they shop at that store. You should also look at different reward programs that your credit or debit cards may certain stores using the links from the credit card page. You can find percentage off discounts, free merchandise discounts, and free shipping for your purchases. As an additional bonus, the money that you spend on the card will help you accumulate more rewards that you can use during the next holiday season.
2. Watch For Real Discounts.
Black Friday is not always the best day to shop for the holidays. Retailers may offer some discounts on this day that are truly deals, but overall pricing throughout the stores are the same, if not higher, on regular merchandise. Watch for deals throughout the year for holiday gifts and stash them away until the holiday season. If you are not they type of person to store gifts all year, wait to go holiday shopping until the first week of December. Retailers begin to rapidly drop prices at this time to move more merchandise…
Another way to reduce holiday spending is to shop online. You can use comparison websites to find the best deals on the products that you wish to purchase. You can also take advantage of your search engine by searching for online codes for additional discounts and free shipping. Make sure that you jump online on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Known as Cyber Monday, retailers offer unbelievable online-only deals on holiday gift items.
3. If gift cards are your favorite choice of gift, there are several ways that you can reduce the cost of giving these gifts.
If you are going to give a gift card that is not for any specific store, such as a Visa or American Express gift card, you should reconsider. Both of these types of cards often charge you a fee just for purchasing the card. Most bans will sell you these same types of gift cards at no cost. Five bucks may seem trivial, but if you are handing out 10 or 20 cards, these fees can add up quickly.
Gift card exchanges can also be very beneficial to your holiday costs. If you received gift cards that you do not want to use, you can cash them in or trade them for others that you can use for gifts. Even if you do not have any old cards that you want to trade, you can still visit these gift card exchange sites and purchase gift cards at below face value. These cards are guaranteed to be worth the face value on them, and no one will ever know that you bought them at a discount.
4. Avoid Store Charge Cards.
Many stores will have very loose credit approval standards during the holiday season. They will offer an immediate discount if you sign up for one of their charge cards at time of purchase. When you are making a very large purchase, the discount and thought of paying for the purchase over time becomes very tempting. It is important to avoid that temptation. Store credit cards often carry a very high interest rate. Any discount that you receive during your shopping trip will be quickly wiped out by the interest on the debt.
The best way to take advantage of “store credit” is to use their layaway service. Many stores offer layaway plans that cost only a few dollars to use. You can pay for the merchandise over time, and then you can have the merchandise out in time for the holidays. Many stores will even adjust pricing if the products you have on layaway go on sale or have their prices reduced, giving you additional savings.
5. Take Advantage Of The Dollar Store.
You do not have to go on a shopping spree for gifts at the dollar store, but they are a great place to save money on other holiday necessities. You can find boxes of holiday cards, tissue paper, wrapping paper and shipping supplies all for a dollar. You may find some great holiday decorations and stocking stuffers while you are there. There is no reason to spend a lot of money on these holiday expendables.
Of course one of the best ways to control your holiday debt is to save for the holiday season throughout the year. Start a Christmas Club at your bank or credit union and put money into the account every payday. If your bank does not offer this service, open up a free savings account and use it for holiday money. If possible, have the money directly deposited from your paycheck so that there is never any risk of it not making it into the account. Being prepared for the holidays and knowing what you have to spend can help keep you out of debt.