Managing Holiday Spending

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The Holiday shopping season is now upon us!  Retailers want us to spend, spend, spend, and then pay later with interest.  Here are some ideas to enjoy Holiday giving without having to leave town to avoid your creditors come January.

Use cash or your debit card whenever you can.  Pay as you go is always a good financial move.  Many store coupons do not require that you use the store credit card.

If you need to use the store credit card to get a discount, always make sure that you will have the money to pay the bill when it arrives.  Retailers encourage the use of the store card to generate interest and fees for their credit card businesses.

Think twice before you apply for a new credit card just to get the discount on a one time purchase.  Make sure that you are going to use the card on an ongoing basis.  Any new applications for credit will adversely impact your credit report and credit score.

Keep a list of all the gifts that you buy for each person.  We have all had the experience of shopping early and then later buying another gift for the same person.

Shop those sales!  Retailers are uncertain about the upcoming holiday season, so they may be offering bargains again this year.