The holidays are a time for giving. However, discipline is very important too for financial stability. Many people go into credit card debt due to holiday spending. Avoiding the use of a credit card is the best way to control holiday spending. Spend within your means. Here are a few methods of payment you could use besides a credit card during the holidays, and why some are better than others:
Debit cards use funds from a linked account, so spending is limited to one’s balance. If using debit cards, check the account balance on a regular basis. To avoid overdraft fees, spend within the account balance. Remember that debit cards require merchants to pay fees. Thus, cash and personal checks are an advantage over plastic.
Cash is a great way to limit how much you are spending during the holidays. Having sufficient funds in a bank account before withdrawing cash is important. The drawback of cash is that it can get lost or stolen easier. It also makes it much more difficult to track your finances, especially if you are using on online budgeting tools to keep track of you spending and saving. Personal checks are a smarter form of payment.
The best payment method is personal check for many reasons. Using checks require a signature of the account owner and they have a paper trail which makes it easy for you to keep track of where your money is going. You can order cheap personal checks from the Checks Superstore and save money by not getting them from your bank.
Besides these forms of payment, careful planning for the holidays is the best method to reduce holiday spending. If holiday spending is expected, people should save that money in a savings or money market account throughout the year and withdraw the saved funds once the holiday period begins.
Another great way of saving during the holidays is to minimize the number of gifts. A conversation with family members can lead to the agreement of avoiding gifts or drawing names for gifts during the holidays, especially when extended family gather for Christmas. This can greatly reduce spending.
You could also agree on putting money into a vacation fund to use the following year instead of giving individual gifts. A combination of planning and payment type can control holiday shopping.
Guest post written by Anita. Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She mostly writes about home and family, finance, and business. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family and reading a good book.
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