How to avoid debt this holiday season (1)
With Thanksgiving and Black Friday already a distant memory, the holiday shopping season has officially begun in Georgia and all throughout the United States. And while buying and giving gifts to family and friends can be fun and meaningful, it is important to remain within your means while shopping for loved ones. After all, no one that truly cares about you would want you to incur huge debts to buy them a Christmas present.
However, retailers work hard to get you to spend money at their stores, and those holiday shopping deals can be difficult to resist. So how can you navigate the holiday season without incurring significant debt that will follow you into 2013 and beyond?
First, and perhaps most importantly, you should make (and stick to!) a plan for your holiday shopping. Decide who you want to buy for and what you want to get each person. Then, do some research online and either buy it there or determine the best physical location at which to get the gift. Go to that place and buy only the item you came for. Avoid impulse buys and shopping at the last minute, both of which can result in a significant increase in your spending.
Second, try to limit the use of your credit cards. If you need to use credit to make holiday purchases, use only one card and keep track of how much you are spending. Ideally, you should only spend what you can pay off by the time your next bill comes. If you are unable to do that, make a detailed plan about how and when you are going to pay down that debt.
We will offer more tips for smart holiday spending in our next blog post.
Source: The Associated Press, “5 tips to steer clear of debt in holiday shopping,” Dave Carpenter, Nov. 14, 2012
If you have incurred unmanageable debt through holiday shopping or any other reason, it may be in your best interests to file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. To learn more about this process, please visit the bankruptcy page on our website.