While the holiday season is filled with fun and relaxing time spent with family and friends, it can also become a time for stress and anxiety if you aren’t careful. Don’t let holiday spending and poor money management ruin your holiday season. Proper money management and smart fiscal decisions can keep you on track and help you avoid the pitfall many Americans find themselves in each December and January. Here are a few tips on how to spend smart and avoid credit debt:
Have a Plan
It is never a good idea to go into the holiday spending season without a solid budget or plan in place. Good money management always starts with a budget and ends with sticking to it. Take a look at your finances and be realistic about what you can afford this holiday season.
It is smart to start your holiday purchasing early. By starting a few months ahead of time, you allow yourself to spread your purchases out and take advantage of layaway options when applicable. Many of the big-box retailers are again offering layaway, which allows customers to put items on hold and pay for them over an extended period of time.
Pay in Cash
It is a smart money management practice to always pay in cash. Paying in cash helps you avoid credit debt by assuring you actually have the money you are spending. A good rule for money management is to never spend money you don’t have; paying in cash is one way you can stick to this practice.