With Black Friday coming soon, many people are getting ready for their holiday shopping. One thing people may want to include in these preparations are plans on how to financially handle the holiday spending.
It is fairly common for consumers to use credit cards in connection to holiday shopping. In a recent survey, nearly three out of four shoppers said they plan on buying holiday presents with a credit card this year.
It is important for shoppers though to be careful in how they use their credit cards when it comes to holiday shopping. There can be the potential for the credit card debt built up in relation to holiday expenses to last a long time. For example, in a recent survey, over one-fourth of shoppers who used credit cards in connection to holiday spending last year reported that they were still paying off the debt related to such spending.
Having long-lasting credit card debt can put significant strains on a person’s finances. For one, it can lead to a substantial amount of interest building up on one’s balance.
What can shoppers do to help with keeping their credit card debt at manageable levels through the holidays? Steps include:
- Make a holiday budget: This can help with avoiding overspending.
- Look for the best deals: Researching where you can get the best prices on the gifts you are buying can help with keeping holiday spending manageable. There are a lot of online tools out there these days for price comparison.
- Think carefully about which card to use: This includes comparing the interest rates and rewards programs of your cards.
- Have a plan for promptly paying off expenses charged to a credit card: It is best to not carry a balance from one month to the next if it can be avoided.
What can consumers do if credit card debt does become unmanageable? There are a lot of options out there for trying to get free of credit card debt problems. In some instances, bankruptcy can help. Talking with skilled professionals, such as bankruptcy attorneys, can help individuals dealing with high credit card debt understand what options are available and which would be a good fit for their situation.