How to Avoid Holiday Debt This Christmas
The holidays are a time for giving — and, for many, putting themselves in debt. You can avoid this by thinking about how to pay for Christmas early. Don't wait until it's too late. Start thinking about it now.
Despite inflation, Deloitte forecasts a 4%-6% rise in retail sales, projecting sales between $1.45 and $1.47 trillion. It’s much of the same story with online holiday sales, which are estimated to reach somewhere between $260 billion and $264 billion.
And many holiday spenders appear to primarily use credit cards. By February this year, about 40% of people said they had still not paid off their holiday debts from the previous year. The bottom line: Spending holiday cash often leads to holiday debt.
But don’t fear. There are some easy ways to avoid accumulating holiday debt this year while still having a happy holiday. Here’s how.
6 Ways To Avoid Holiday Debt
1. Make A Holiday Budget
Just as a budget is a key to financial stability throughout the rest of the year, creating a solid spending budget is vital to avoiding holiday debt.
In addition to setting a limit on gifts, be sure to include other expenditures, including travel, decorating, party hosting, and other forms of entertainment you expect to pay for with your all-important holiday cash.
If your finances are tighter this year, simplifying gift-giving may be the way to go to avoid holiday debt. Chat with your family and friends and see if you can come to an agreement on gift-giving.
Perhaps it’s setting a rule of giving just one gift this year or spending under a certain amount. Consider making decorations (and gifts) to save even more cash. Because you don’t have to put yourself in debt to enjoy the holiday.
3. Take Advantage Of Sales
Keeping an eye out for discounts and deals — real discounts and deals — is a big rule to follow for the months surrounding the holidays. Black Friday is one thing but try going a bit deeper and comparison shop — then wait for what is likely the best deal on gifts for everyone on your list.
Shop smart and you’ll avoid the big pitfalls that lead to significant holiday debt.
4. And Stack Cash-Back Offers And Perks While You’re At It
It’s easier than ever to get rewarded just for shopping — and that doesn’t stop during the holidays. If you’re spending lots of holiday cash, you can get a lot of holiday cashback.
Start with your credit card and get an overview of standard cashback offers, perks, and any special deals during the holidays. Many offer cashback and reward points on items like gift cards or for shopping at specific stores.
And throughout the season, there may be fluctuating cashback amounts from your favorite stores.
5. If You Have To Pay For Travel, Be Strategic
Doing a bit of research and preparation is important to avoiding holiday debt this season, especially if you have to fly during the holidays.
Book as far ahead as possible and save a lot of cash by flying on what tend to be the cheapest days — Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday — and at off hours, such as the early morning or late at night.
6. Come Up With A Payment Plan
Once the holiday season wraps up, take a look at your spending and prioritize payments.
Many financial advisers recommend paying the highest interest off first, but others say paying off the smallest amount first works well, too, especially if you have a somewhat more tenuous financial situation overall.
Even if your holiday debt is high and overwhelming, there are options. One route is using a balance transfer card to consolidate the debt, especially a card with a low or zero interest rate.
Even with the consolidated date, you’ll still need a solid payment plan, so you won’t be paying off the previous year’s holiday debt next Christmas.
Going Through A Financial Emergency? Consider A Car Title Loan
Figuring out how to combat holiday debt can be even more challenging if you’re also dealing with a financial emergency, such as an emergency room bill, necessary home, and car repairs, or last-minute travel.
A car title loan can help. In as little as 30 minutes you can apply and qualify for a loan of up to $15,000 at Fast Auto Loans, Inc. All you need is the lien-free title to your vehicle, a driver’s license, or state-issued identification, and your vehicle for a quick inspection.
And you can get started online. Just fill out the short title loan inquiry form on our homepage and we’ll give you a call to review the car title loan requirements and walk you through the rest of the easy steps.
Once you qualify and are approved, you’ll get the cash you need the same day or the next business day.
Get Started Today
Everyone is capable of avoiding holiday debt — and overcoming a financial emergency that comes their way. All it takes is the right mindset, a little know-how, and a strategic plan that is put into action. And if you need a little extra help, try a title loan.
To pursue a car title loan today, start online, give us a call, or visit a Fast Auto Loans, Inc. location near you. With several locations situated across the state, you are certain to find a store that can help you handle your financial emergency today.
Note: The content provided in this article is only for informational purposes, and you should contact your financial advisor about your specific financial situation.