Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Not only is this holiday a fun time to get together with friends and family members, but it’s also the time of year when people begin to spend more. With the holiday season kicking off on or around Thanksgiving, many people feel pressured to make all holiday wishes and dreams come true - this often means buying items on credit.
We want you to avoid falling into a debt trap this year, which is why we’ve put together a few important money-saving holiday tips. Take a look at this list before you start to spend.
We all want to buy the people we love the things that they want. But sometimes those things are just too expensive. Other times, we haven’t properly budgeted for those items.
So my first tip to you is to budget:
- Figure out realistic amounts to spend on each person on your list
- Write down how much money you will have to save each week to buy that item
- Place this amount in a separate bank account reserved only for holiday spending
If you find that you have to save more than you comfortably can, I’d like you to take a look at this next section.
How Not to Save
I encourage all of you to save real cash (not credit) for holiday spending. However, if you are going to go this route I want to make sure that you are saving responsibly.
Do not begin to save for a holiday gift if:
- You are saving more than you make every week
- You cannot save enough cash for the item you want to buy
- You’re tempted to pay with credit or take out a loan to purchase an item
- You have to forego basic necessities (food, bills, etc) to save for the item
What about credit cards? Well, there is a way to use cards responsibly IF.
The Only Time to Use a Card
There are times when a credit card can be used responsibly. Only use a card to buy a holiday item IF:
- You can pay back the amount immediately
- You are trying to build credit responsibly
- You will not let your payments build up causing you to spend on interest
- You still budget for that item in cash
Remember to buy holiday gifts responsibly. Sure, everyone WANTS something, but most people are happy just being cared for and loved - and that’s something you can provide for free.