Get Through the Holiday Without Relying on Credit PLUS Why You Should

When you are struggling financially, the holidays can present a real problem.  In many cases, consumers turn to credit to get them through the holiday season.  Between gifts, travel, parties and more, holiday expenses can really add up.

Here are 5 ways to get through the holiday without using your credit card:

  1. Save all year – That’s right, start in January and put a little a side each week. Even if you put away $20 a week, by December you’ll have almost $1,000 saved!
  2. Set gift limits – Talk with your family about setting limits on gifts so you aren’t trying to buy extravagant gifts you can’t afford.
  3. Suggest pulling names – Instead of buying for everyone, suggest pulling names. When you do this you have less people to buy for and it can really help ease the stress of the season.
  4. Make gifts – If you’re handy, crafty or can bake, consider making your gifts instead of buying them to save money.
  5. Don’t worry about the kids – Kids don’t know if you spent $30 or $300 on a gift so if you have multiple children to buy for, don’t worry about spending the same amount on each. If your kids are older, use the holiday as an opportunity to teach them about the value of money.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Credit Cards During the Holidays

If you don’t have the cash in the bank to pay off your credit card, you shouldn’t use them. If your balance isn’t paid, you’ll start to accumulate interest on all your purchases, making them cost even more than they did in the first place.  Plus, continuing to use credit cards when you are struggling financially is only going get you deeper and deeper in to debt.

Also, if you’re struggling financially and considering bankruptcy, don’t think you can use your credit card to get through the holiday, then file bankruptcy and all those debts will be included.  Depending on the timing of your filing, your creditors may have the ability to challenge your right to a bankruptcy discharge. Running up cards in anticipation of filing is never, ever a good idea and can pose serious problems for you later.

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