Tips for Holiday Shopping Without Incurring Credit Card Debt

terri-december-week-4-img-holidy-shopping If you are like many of your fellow Americans, there’s a good chance that you’re carrying a certain amount of credit card debt.  Though you may think that you have it under control, credit card debt and bankruptcy often go hand in hand, and holiday shopping can turn a bad situation into something far worse. According to a survey that was conducted in January of 2015, Americans add an average of $986 in debt onto their credit card every year at the holidays, and most do not expect to pay it off anytime soon.  Though this may seem like a lot of money, when you add up the gifts that you buy and the money that you spend on travel, decorating, hosting celebrations and maybe a new outfit to wear to the company holiday party, things can add up quickly – and it can get worse fast if the holidays mean that the company is closed for a week and you end up with less cash in your pocket.  If you’re putting these purchases on a credit card that’s already loaded with debt, then that means you’re likely to end up paying interest over several months, and that’s how credit card debt and bankruptcy happen. Erik B. Jensen and Associates are bankruptcy attorneys who can help if you need information on filing for bankruptcy, but we want to help you avoid debt too. Here are some tips for holiday shopping without incurring credit card debt.

There are a number of easy steps you can take to avoid incurring credit card debt on the holidays. The best thing to do is to plan ahead. If you start the year by setting aside a small amount of money each week into a savings account, then next year when the holidays roll around you’ll have saved plenty to spend in cash, without having to use your credit card. Of course, that information isn’t going to be helpful for this year!  So make sure that you start with a budget that covers the gifts as well as all of your other expenses and don’t let yourself go astray. Studies have shown that people who use a budget tend to get into less credit card debt then those without a spending plan.

Another good idea is to investigate what kind of perks your credit cards may offer. You may be able to get price protection that guarantees that you’ll get the lowest price on items you buy, or get increased cash back or discounts.

Another good idea is to host a potluck rather than put all of the expense of hosting a party on your own shoulders. Everybody loves showing off their culinary skills, and it will save you a fortune on your groceries. Also, instead of purchasing holiday decorations, check out websites like Pinterest to see how you can make them yourself, or buy things at a thrift shop instead of at an expensive retailer.

There are a number of ways that you can save money at the holidays and avoid getting yourself deeper into credit card debt. But if you find that your bills are impossible to pay and you are wondering about filing for bankruptcy, contact Erik B. Jensen and Associates for knowledgeable credit card debt and bankruptcy advice.