Do you always go above and beyond with Christmas presents? Do you get swept up in the frenzy of seasonal sales? Do you find that you spend more than you intended by the time New Year’s arrives?
You’re not alone in this. Every year, Americans overspend on holiday shopping and find themselves regretting this financial mistake once the season has ended.
What To Do If You Overspend
Make a Debt Repayment Plan:
If you have a whole lot of holiday debt sitting on your credit card, the first thing that you should do is make a sensible debt repayment plan. Look at your monthly budget to see how much you can put toward this goal. Then, you can put that amount onto your credit card at the beginning of the month, or you can automate your payments through your online banking so that you don’t have to think twice about it.
If that payment is too low for your liking, there are ways that you can make it bigger. You can try to trim other expenses in your budget, like lowering your energy bills or spending less on groceries. This can help you tackle your debt at a much faster pace.
The Repayment Problem to Watch Out for:
Don’t be too aggressive with your debt repayment plan. You don’t want to put every penny that you have toward this goal because it could leave you more vulnerable to surprise expenses, like car repairs.
If you make this mistake and you don’t have enough savings to cover a surprise expense, you could put the charge on your credit card. This expense will be absorbed into your current debt repayment plan.
Another option is to go to a website like CreditFresh to see whether you can apply for a personal line of credit. If you meet all of the qualifications, you can send in your application and see whether you get approved. With a line of credit, you could request a withdrawal within your approved limit. That withdrawal amount will get deposited into your bank account quickly. Then you can use those funds to cover the expense and deal with repayment later on.
How Can You Avoid Overspending?
Set a Shopping Budget:
Before you rush to the mall, look at your finances and see how much you can afford to spend on gifts, decorations and extras without going into debt. Set that amount aside and try your best to stick to this clear spending goal.
Skip the store-bought items and choose DIY. You can make your own holiday cards, tree decorations, baked goods and presents this year. A little bit of effort can save you a lot of money.
Trim Your List:
One of the reasons why you overspend is that you buy gifts for everyone in your life. How can you avoid this problem? You can organize gift exchange games like White Elephant or Secret Santa. Or you can simply whittle down your gift list to close friends and family. Your coworkers, neighbors and acquaintances will be just fine.
You can use the top couponing websites to get digital and print out coupons before you go holiday shopping. And if you prefer to shop online, use browser extensions and discount codes to cut your final costs down.
You don’t have to fall for the spending trap! You can avoid it altogether. Follow these simple tips so that you can keep your finances in check this time around.