The festive season is here, again! Everyone, including you and your immediate family, is in a holiday mood. Oftentimes this mood tags along with-it temptations to overspend and overindulge in everything you think and feel will heighten your merry-making plans … of course, gift-buying tops the list for many.
In this year’s holiday season, according to the National Retail Federation, it’s projected that consumers will spend slightly above $1,000. That’s an estimated 4.1% increase of what they spent last holidays.
If you are used to buying items using your credit card, you are more likely to overspend using your card. Chances are also high you will overuse your credit card this holiday season. But that does not mean you stop using it entirely. In fact, using a credit card enhances convenience, but if you remain responsible it is easier to eliminate over-indulgence and overspending this season using your credit card. Here’s how.
Always pay the full amount using your card
Well, this sounds fairly normal or obvious but not many consumers this holiday season will follow this rule. And this is what we’ll get you and them in trouble. Making purchases in full normally eliminates your chances of owing high-interest rates or and accruing more debt on your credit card.
For instance, if you buy say gifts and pay in full using your credit card, you receive a charge that indicates you have made a purchase, and you have a few weeks (often a grace period) to pay back the amount. As a buyer, you literally get in trouble when you don’t get to pay back the amount in the stipulated time. As nation21loans suggests, In this situation taking a short term loan might be helpful so you can consolidate all the previous credit card or other loans effectively.
That’s when things get out of hand. You’re slapped with a high percentage on your interest rates and your debt further increases. So literally it’s advisable to only use your credit card if you can pay the amount in full. Then there’s the issue with store cards…
Store Credit Cards
If you know what’s best for you this holiday season then stay away from store credit cards. In fact, the next time you shop and the cashier entices you to “make a 10% saving on the latest sale”, it’s best to say no and walk away. But that rarely happens with most consumers.
- Store cards slap your card with more debt and especially debts with higher interest rates. They pose a huge risk on your credit balance compared to your general credit card.
- It’s easy to fall prey on that enticing moment when a cashier lures you to using a store card to make a 10% saving or more, but no matter how attractive or how low or easy it is to attain the credit threshold, remember these cards attract higher interest rates – almost 6 points higher than usual.
Use credit card points to your advantage
Treat it as a game actually, the points game. The advantages of using your credit card to pay in full all your gifts or items this holiday season is, you can attract hefty rewards for doing that. These rewards often come in the form of bonuses or deals that are hard to ignore for consumers.
So each time there’s a new sign up a deal on a credit card take full advantage whether it is an all-expenses-paid trip, a few hundreds worth of bonuses or Christmas shopping, go for it.
The idea is to ensure you don’t miss out on any new deals that may come up, and also you don’t spend using your card. This helps you stay out of debt while enjoying lucrative deals and bonuses without spending a dime. But you need money in the first place before you can play the “card points” game.
Transfer debts between credit cards
If you are in debt trouble and want to get out of it using the least amount of money, try transferring your debt between cards. Most prominent cards allow balance transfers with ease, and that can be your saving grace especially when you don’t want to spend more this holiday season.
Transferring of debt attracts little to zero interest rates on a credit card, and what’s more? You are not required to pay any upfront charges. And that’s good news to any cardholder in America.
Many cardholders find this unreal but it’s all real. According to CreditCards.com, almost 49% of cardholders across America don’t think the transfer of debt between cards is really possible.
Yet it is the easiest way to save money on interest rates. A huge chunk of credit cards charge as high as 25% interest rates or less, but depending on the debt you owe, you can save on hundreds of dollars in interest rates easily by transferring your debt to a card with low-interest rates. If you are in debt already, avoid taking more debt by not making purchases this holiday season. This sounds fairly obvious, too.
Save, Save and Save
The simplest and perhaps obvious way to steer clear of credit debt this holiday season is to save money. If there’s something that can brew financial trouble is having little or no savings and a credit card at your disposal. You’re more likely to get into more debt when your savings are too low.
It’s believed most Americans are terrible at saving, and that spells doom in their finances. But don’t be amongst the many. Save as much as you can because you never know when the unexpected will happen like car repairs, hospital bills, or an emergency that requires immediate use of money, etc.
Using your credit card to make payments can spell doom as you’ll accrue high-interest rates, and that’s a disaster in itself. Saving is not easy for most people but it is an easy way out of credit card debts. Also, you can choose to spend less to save money. After all, you tend to overspend during the holidays.
You can avoid credit card debt without problems this holiday by adjusting how you spend money. It’s all about being aware of where your money goes and adjusting your financial priorities.
Through simple money managing tactics, you will not only save money but also remain debt free during this holiday season. Remember to always pay in full using your card this festive season, avoid store cards like the plague too, take advantage of credit card points as much as you can, even treat it as a game. But don’t forget to transfer debts between cards, and by god save as much as you can.