Long lines at the malls, the taste of ham, and children singing in the streets is a sign that Christmas season is here. You must be excited to go on a stress-free winter vacation with your loved ones. And can’t forget your gifts! However, along with the cheers of the yuletide is a type of anarchy so huge that it jeopardizes the enjoyment of the season.
Yes, you are right if you are thinking about the long queues at banks, malls, and all the other stores you shop. This time of the year is the perfect time to shop online and utilize those credit cards in your wallets. The risk of going overboard is higher now than any other time of year.
Below are some tips to avoid having a landslide of bills from your credit card:
Plan In Advance
Everyone knows that the month of December is a time of meticulous shopping, including the wise shop owners inside the malls. They will attempt to attract you with discounts, bundled items, and even free items with purchase. This is the first obstacle you must conquer. To avoid this, make saving a habit, then set a specific budget, create a shopping list, and the most important thing of all, stick to your budget and list. Write down the names of the people you are giving gifts to and set a particular limit for each of them. This will eventually help you avoid that “50% off” poster outside your favorite store.
Begin With Major Purchases
Clear out all your major purchases first. These might be the presents for your loved ones or the Christmas party you’re planning. However, don’t forget to follow your budget and list that you made earlier. Never let your impulsiveness block your clear judgement.
However, it is a great idea to carry your credit card when you plan to purchase expensive gifts so you won’t have to worry about carrying so much cash. Besides, using credit cards is one way to boost your credit score.
If you’re done with your major purchases, evaluate how much funds you have left for the other gifts. This scheme provides you the resilience of choosing cheaper items at the bottom of your list, which gives you the chance to prioritize those that really matter to you.
Use The Correct Credit Card
There are types of credit cards dedicated to travel expenses, and cards available which are meant to be used for shopping. Your credit card lender has possibly defined the use of every credit card they have on their website already.
If you are travelling outside the country, a good choice is to bring a credit card that provides free travel insurance and luxurious entry to airport lounges. These would cost you a lot if you don’t have a card that provides these things. However, if you plan on shopping for gifts and holiday supplies, use a credit card that offers rebates and cash back rewards.
Know Your Card’s Fine Print
Always find time to read your card’s terms and conditions. The fine print contains everything you need to know about your card such as late payment fees and how the company charges interest rates. Reading about the payment options makes you a more knowledgeable and responsible credit card user. It may also contain exclusive deals such as installment plans and rewards you didn’t know about.
Spending less is just the first step of a successful financial plan. Budgeting is key during the holiday season. Whether you are planning for a holiday trip to another country or anticipating how much to spend on gifts for each of your family members and friends, you need to allocate accordingly. Take advantage of any rewards your credit card offers to save at the time of purchase or to earn money back.