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Avoiding Holiday Debt: How To Use Credit WiselyA person holding credit card while shopping online during the holiday season.

The holiday season is traditionally a time of joy and celebration. People from all backgrounds look forward to this festive time of year, spending time with loved ones and indulging in delicious food, drinks, and gifts. However, the financial pressures of the holiday season can easily lead to overspending and accumulation of debt.

While credit cards can offer convenience and flexibility, they can also tempt people into overspending, leading to a “financial hangover” when the festivities are over. In this blog, Landmark National Bank will provide some holiday budgeting tips and advice to help you wisely utilize credit so you can stay within your budget while still enjoying the magic of the season.

Plan Your Budget

Before the holiday season begins, sit down and create a reasonable budget. List all your expected expenses, including gifts, travel, food, and decorations. Then compare this total to your disposable income. If there’s a gap, look for ways to cut back or save in other areas. Remember, it’s better to adjust your plans now than to accumulate debt you’ll struggle to pay off later!

Know When To Use Cash

While credit cards can offer convenience and perks, it’s best to use cash in certain situations. Keeping cash in your wallet for discretionary purchases like coffee or lunch allows you to easily keep track of the money you spend and stick to your budget. You can also avoid the temptation of overspending because there’s a limit to how much cash you have on hand.

Pay Your Bill ASAP

Make sure you pay off your credit card bill as soon as possible and try to pay above the minimum (if not the full amount) each time. The longer you wait to pay, the more interest you’ll accrue, which can quickly spiral out of control during the holiday season when expenses pile up. If possible, set up automatic payments to ensure you never miss a beat.

Look for Deals and Discounts

To stretch your holiday budget as far as possible, be on the lookout for deals and discounts. Many retailers offer flash sales during the holiday season, and you can often find coupons online for free shipping or other deals. Also, consider signing up for email alerts from your favorite stores to be notified of upcoming sales.

Avoid Impulse Purchases

Impulse purchases can quickly derail your budget. To avoid this, make a shopping list before you go to the store and stick to it. Often, you’ll find you don’t need as much as you thought. If you see something online you want that’s not a necessity, give yourself a cooling-off period before buying it. A good practice is to wait 24 hours. If you don’t want the item as much a day later, it’s not worth it.

Consider Homemade Gifts and DIY Decorations

Homemade gifts and decorations can save you money and add a personal touch to your holiday celebrations. There are countless DIY holiday gift ideas online that can inspire you. Plus, making gifts and decorations can be a fun holiday activity that gets the whole family involved.

Get Expert Advice From Landmark National Bank

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by holiday expenses, consider seeking assistance from a financial expert. At Landmark National Bank, we offer a range of services for checking accounts and savings accounts to help you manage your money wisely. We can help you set up a budget, choose the right credit card, and develop a plan to pay off your bills on time.

Choosing to keep your money with Landmark grants you access to expert advice and assistance from a financial partner dedicated to helping you manage your money. Contact Landmark National Bank today or locate a bank branch near you!

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