The holiday season is here and with it comes some pretty heavy spending. This time of year also comes with holiday traffic, the stress of shopping for your friends and family, and the long lines at the mall. With the addition of these added stresses, the last thing you need to worry about is overspending that could potentially hurt your credit.
It might be a little late in the game to start planning, but keep these tips in mind to maximize your holiday savings and avoid a financial hangover in the New Year. Staying on track of your budget will help you avoid any financial headaches.
Create a written holiday budget before you start spending – Although it seems practical, many people simply don’t set a realistic budget for the holidays in advance. It is better to make difficult spending decisions before you start shopping, rather than waiting until you are in the store facing temptation.
Monitor your credit reports regularly – Maintaining good credit during holiday season is tough because you might be a bit too busy with holiday activities to monitor it. Watch for any inaccuracies in your report since they can potentially lower your credit score as well as indicate identity fraud. Consider investing in a credit monitoring service, which can track any fluctuations in your score.
Make regular payments from your checking account to your credit card – You don’t need to wait until the statement appears to make your credit card payment. As you conduct your holiday shopping, you can make additional payments from your checking account to your credit card. You can also manage your budget more closely by watching your checking account balance decrease as you spend money.
Take advantage of email and text message alerts – Most credit card companies offer free alerting services where you can control the settings. Set up daily alerts that notify you of your account balance. You can stay on top of your budget daily, and the alerts will remind you of what you have spent.
Use a separate card just for holiday spending – If your holiday shopping isn’t mixed up with your other expenses, it can make your budget much easier to manage. For example, if you set a budget of $1,000and put it into a separate account, all of your holiday expenses will be in one place. Only bring this card with you on your shopping sprees so you aren’t tempted to dip into your personal account.
We hope these tips will help you to avoid any financial headaches this holiday season. Contact a mortgage advisor today to see how refinancing your home loan could help you consolidate your credit card debt. Get a free rate quote to explore your refinance or home buying options.