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Useful Tips to Avoid Holiday Debts

The holiday season represents a unique time of year where you are expected to spend more than you would on yourself and others than normal. In fact, many Americans actually plan to spend so much that they accrue debt that will take several months to pay off. This could arguably be giving too much. For your own benefit, it is probably best that you don’t rack up a holiday debt and keep in mind that it’s the thought that counts.

Here’s five quick tips to avoid holiday overspending and lingering debt:

  1. Budget like you mean it: Anyone can make a budget but not everyone can stick to it. When you make your budget, hold yourself accountable and take it seriously. Look at your extra of “fun” expenses you’ve made each month this year and set yourself a realistic limit based on that for your holiday spending. Consider getting a friend or family member on board to check time to time to see if you’re close to hitting your ceiling.
  2. No store credit cards: If you are shopping in the mall or a popular retailer, some cashier or another, if not all of them, are going to ask you to sign up for a store credit card for a hearty discount upfront. While we all love discounts, this is not the best way to get them. Reading the details on store credit cards usually reveal an outrageously high APR of anything between 24 to 28%. If you were to go to your bank and get a credit card, the highest APR you might find would be 16%.
  3. Gift games: Secret Santa or White Elephant parties are a great way to minimize your holiday budget while maximizing holiday cheer. Rather than needing to get a gift for all the special people in your life, these games provide a clever way to shop for just one person. Your friends will probably appreciate the money-saving method as well.
  4. Remember other debts: Credit card debt might not be the only form of debt that you face on a daily basis. Don’t lose track of any of your other financial obligations as you pick up gifts and possibly new debt on a new credit card.
  5. Prepare to save in January: The moment New Year’s Day hits, start thinking about how much to save for that year’s holiday gifts. How much did you spend this year when everything was said and done? Did you go overboard or accomplish your gift giving mission responsibly? Take the number that feels right and divide it by 10. That new number is how much you should set aside each month from January to October for gifts, leaving you worry-free come November when the holidays hit.

At the Law Office of Simon Goldenberg, PLLC, we understand that sometimes the best laid plans become unraveled. If you find yourself in holiday debt despite trying to be careful, talk to our New York debt relief attorneys about your options to rebuild your credit and your financial stability. We can help you negotiate with collectors and uphold your consumer rights after creditor harassment, or even file for bankruptcy if necessary.

Call toll-free 888.301.0584 today and get a free case evaluation.