The holidays are a time when people can easily get into financial troubles. You want to give the best gifts you can to the people you love. Sometimes your desires outweigh your finances. Lots of people rely on credit cards to make ends meet during the holidays. Sadly, that can create a lot of troubles for people. Here are some questions to ask yourself before you buy another gift on your credit card:
Is last year paid for yet?
Some people are still paying for last year’s gift as the time comes to start buying again this year. If you haven’t paid for last year, don’t buy on credit this year. Stick to cash instead.
What’s your budget?
You have to know how much you can realistically afford to spend before you head out to the stores. Look over your finances and set a realistic budget with some flexibility built into it. Once you have the budget, stick to it.
Have a plan?
Before you head out to go shopping, spend the time to figure out what you are going to buy, where you will get it and what it will cost. Set up a route you will follow and stick to it. This is the easiest way to stick to a budget and stay out of trouble.
As you set up a holiday budget, be sure to include everything. That doesn’t just mean gifts, but wrapping papers, food for guests, travel and costs for decorating. Include everything so that your spending doesn’t get out of line. Have someone close to you check over the list before you start. Often they will come up with something that you have forgotten. [Read more…]