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Use Credit Cards Wisely During The Holiday Season
When November rolls around every year, stores begin advertising like crazy, and people start getting in the mood to shop. Just about everyone has a list of people for whom gifts must be purchased, and the only way to accomplish this is obviously to spend money. Unfortunately, many people see the holiday season as a good excuse to put all purchases and expenses on a credit card because they don’t have enough cash on hand to pay for everything all at once. The holiday season, however, is no reason to rack up credit card bills that can’t be paid. Using some smart shopping tips and other creative ideas can help prevent a person from spending too much money that they don’t have. As long as the holiday season is celebrated in moderation each year, people can rest assured that credit card debt will not haunt them for the rest of their lives.
This is in no way saying that credit cards are not useful tools and should not be used while shopping. It is, however, saying that credit cards should not be abused during November and December each year. It’s very easy to go to a shopping mall and want to buy everything that is seen on the shelves. With a credit card, it’s easy to over-buy things that aren’t really needed, because using plastic to buy things doesn’t always seem like real money is being spent. At times, credit card spending can get out of control very easily.
To help curb this, a list of what needs to be bought on a shopping trip should be written before arriving. Once there, even though things are tempting, only items on the list should be purchased. Another useful tip when it comes to using a credit card while shopping for gifts next holiday season is to write down everything that was purchased using the card. Making a list (and checking it twice!) will allow the credit card holder to keep track of how much was charged, and how large the bill will be at the end of the month. Many people are shocked when they receive their credit card statements in January of each year, because they are unaware that they charged so much during the months of November and December. Something to keep in mind each holiday season is the fact that “more expensive” doesn’t always mean “better” when it comes to gifts. Many people would much rather receive a homemade gift, a home-cooked meal, or something small as opposed to an expensive items that may not even be liked or enjoyed by the recipient. Using creativity and the imagination when choosing gifts can do at least two things… be perceived as extremely thoughtful by the gift’s recipient, and also save money. A fancy meal at a restaurant on Thanksgiving, the week of Christmas, or on New Year’s Eve is always fun. However, once it’s over… it’s over.
And, when the meal which was eaten is paid for with a credit card, it’s sure to give a person an upset stomach when the credit card bill arrives a month later. Seeing a charge of several hundred dollars on a statement for food that was consumed, digested, and expelled a month ago can be upsetting. So, instead of eating out, consider having a low-key pot-luck dinner in the home. Guests may even enjoy this venue more than a crowded restaurant. Using a credit card is definitely safer than carrying a huge amount of cash in a purse or a pocket while shopping during the holiday season. With a credit card, it if is lost or stolen, it can be reported immediately and the card can be deactivated. Also, it’s quicker and more time-efficient to swipe a credit card in a machine than take five minutes to write a check for a purchase. So, as long as spending can be kept under control and gift buying is kept to a minimum, using a credit card can be a smart choice in November and December of each year.
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