According to a recent survey by NerdWallet, 1 in 4 individuals who charged holiday gifts to their credit cards last year is still paying off that debt. During last year's holiday season, the average shopper racked up over $1,000 in debt.
Holiday Shopping Tips:
- Set limits with family and friends and consider a gift swap. Having a limit removes the pressure of determining how much to spend.
- Consider alternatives to buying gifts.
- Invest in memories – rather than purchase gifts consider getting together with friends and family at home for a meal.
- Make charitable contributions.
- Don’t shop without a list. It will help avoid overspending or last minute impulse purchases.
- Research prices online.
- Compare prices of gifts online before heading out to the store.
- Use old gift cards.
- Create a holiday account.
- Save money throughout the year to use during the holiday season.
Tips for Paying Off Debt:
- Consolidate debt or transfer your debt to lower interest rate credit cards.
- Make the minimum payment on your cards and direct any extra payments to balances with the highest interest rate.
- Be aware of when an introductory rate expires – the new higher interest rate is usually charged on the original balance if the entire balance is not paid off during the promotional period.
- Set up automatic payments of the minimum amount due to avoid missed payments.