Holidays! Seem like the best time of the year. However, hosting parties, buying gifts, and traveling can make the holiday season the most expensive one. Without a doubt, we all love holidays but facing high credit card bills as soon as we enter January won’t even graduate for our list of favorites.
Getting swept up in the fun of the season is very easy and exciting. Not being able to handle your finances can, however, make things messy for you as soon as you receive your bills. Most of you must rely on your credit cards for making things easier for you. Hence, for avoiding unnecessary stress at the beginning of the new year, avoid making these mistakes with your credit cards.
#1 Reaching Credit Limits of your Cards
We know that traveling during the holiday season is pretty common. And, your come in handy at this time. However, here is a pro tip for you.
Even if you are in possession of cash for covering your balances from your travel expenses or any other expenses for that matter, the best thing to do would be spreading your expenses out amongst different cards you have. This obviously is a better way than piling up all the expenses on one.
The amount may vary, and it may become a little complicated for you. However, if you use more then 10 to 30 percent of the credit limit of your card, it may have a negative impact on your credit score.
Some credit cards may levy charges on exceeding the credit limit, which obviously another reason why you should track your balances while shopping.
#2 Not Making a Planned Budget
This is one of the oldest tricks in the book and for good reason because it works. You must determine the amount of money you would be capable of spending at this time before the begins. Take out time for checking your present credit card balance.
Even if you pay off your credit card balance every month, having a budget will help you spend within your means. This will help you to stay away from high interests.
Make a list of your friends and family, for whom you have to buy gifts, and determine the price range for the gifts. This will help you in avoiding excessive purchases while shopping. Take your hosting and traveling expenses into consideration too, so that you don’t max out your travel cards.
#3 Getting Store Cards for those Lucrative One-Time Offers
Taking advantage of the additional discounts at the time is pretty tempting. However, you need to avoid getting a new store-specific credit card everytime a salesperson comes to you with a glamourized offer.
The major drawback of this is its impact on your credit score. Getting approved for credit at a cash register is easy and quick and so is the hit on your credit score. Moreover, you will also have to take care of paying back all the new cards as soon as the first of the year arrives.
#4 Not Checking Your Balances in Time
The best and possibly the only suitable way of keeping within your budget is tracking the balances on your credit card. It doesn’t matter if you keep tally on paper or get push notifications from your credit card every time you swipe it. The only important thing is knowing the amount you are spending.
Paying a few extra dirhams here & there is easy, and you tend to forget 1 or 2 relatives while buying gifts. But these things can be added up quickly. You need to check your balance after each outing for keeping your expenses in alignment with your budget.
To Sum Up!
Credit cards can help in making holiday shopping a breeze. However, taking a few missteps can turn this breeze into a storm of financial stress. These tips will help you in staying away from this financial storm.