Even if you’re thrifty all year, it’s easy to overspend when you’re short on time and gift ideas. Here are some money mistakes you don’t want to make this holiday season so you can keep your spending under control.
Opening store credit cards – When your gift list is bigger than your budget, it’s tempting to use plastic to pay for the presents, but make sure you know what you’re getting into if you sign up for a store credit card. A lot of them offer “deferred” interest rates around the holidays to entice you, but you still owe that interest, you just get a six month grace period first. And store cards have higher APRs, so read all the fine print before you sign up.
Overspending just to get rewards – You found the present you want and it’s within your $50 office party budget, but then the saleslady tells you if you spend $100 you can get $25 off your next purchase. Don’t get sucked in! This is just a marketing ploy to get you to spend more now, so just say no.
Shopping for gifts on websites that aren’t secure – We like an online shopping deal as much as the next girl, but if you don’t see a closed padlock icon next to the sites URL, don’t put down your credit card. And beware if there are lots of pop-ups or you start getting unsolicited spam-like emails in your inbox.
Forgetting to budget for holiday cards and holiday parties – You put money aside for presents, but you forgot the holiday extras like photo cards, parties, and gift bags that can really add up fast. It’s better to plan ahead so you don’t end up charging those things at the last minute.
Dipping into emergency savings – According to money experts, we’re supposed to have three to six months worth of paychecks set aside for emergencies. But that doesn’t mean you can use those funds for your S.O.’s Apple Watch. Just put a little away each week from now until Christmas instead of blowing your savings on presents.
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