It’s that time of year when we cringe about opening up our mailboxes and seeing what’s inside of it, mainly our credit card bill! I try and do things throughout the year to lessen the cost of Christmas shopping. My biggest fear in life is being crushed by credit card debt, and I’ve spent the bulk of my adult life avoiding paying for something I bought 10 years ago.
What I like to do is stash away cash from every paycheck and build up a war chest for gift buying. I avoid using my credit card, but there are some times you can’t avoid using it. With my war chest of cash, I have the money to pay the bill off as soon as it comes in. Also, you’ll be amazed at how quickly loose chance adds up. Get a jar and fill it up and you’ll be astonished at how much you’ll have at the end of the year. Another tip is I just don’t start buying gifts in December; I’ll pick up gifts throughout the year ifsomething catches my eye and I can get a deal on it. I have a few Rubbermaid tubs full of presents I’ve picked up along the way, and I often go shopping in the basement. I avoid the crowds and the chaos of the mall, and I’m not being tempted to spend money on something I don’t really need because I’m in
the mall and temptations are pretty much in every store.
I’ve seen what massive credit card debt can do to people and families, and I swore to myself when I was a kid I’d never let it happen to me and touch wood I’ve been debt free my entire life. I’ve also managed to change my husband’s free spending ways, this is a person who ran up 20k+ in credit card debt by the time he was 21 and was only making minimum wage. Taking a few dollars out of your check here and there to save for the holidays is the best thing you can do, and if you don’t spend it all well you’ve got a head start for next year! It’s terrible to dread getting the mail, and it’s even worse having balances that are staggering, just buy what you can afford and try to pay cash for everything.
Make sure to check out the credit line calculator as a resource. It is so very important to remaining educated about your line of credit status.
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