Get through Christmas, New Year without credit card balance going red: Top 5 tips to know

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Updated: December 26, 2015 11:46:11 PM

The best way to avoid overspending is choosing to make payments with cash. When we swipe a credit card, the realisation of money spent is delayed.

credit card paymentThe best way to avoid overspending is choosing to make payments with cash. When we swipe a credit card, the realisation of money spent is delayed. (Reuters)

Christmas is here and New Year isn’t far behind! It’s time to celebrate with friends and family and spread the good cheer. In these high spirits, we loosen those purse strings. And out come the credit cards and the resultant long bills! Well, happiness doesn’t cost a thing but all other things sold over the shelf do! Often, we do get carried away during the holiday season due to attractive offers and fun vibes all around. So how can we avoid spending too much without cutting down the fun factor? Here are top 5 tips tips to help you spend wisely:

#1 Keep the credit card at home!
The best way to avoid overspending is choosing to make payments with cash. When we swipe a credit card, the realisation of money spent is delayed. It hits us when we have to actually pay the bill which is on the next due date. However, spending in cash is an instant realisation. The subconscious mind registers the expense and monitors subsequent expenses effectively. Spending in cash will also save you from the exorbitant interest rates and the repayment stress.

#2 Go with a shopping partner!
Double the fun and cut down on the expenses with a shopping partner! Making a plan with somebody increases accountability. Reverse plan the entire shopping experience with your shopping partner. Start with the budget and follow it up with a list of things to be bought. Make sure this list is aligned with the budget goal. Now go shopping together and keep a check on your partners list. This works great cause you have a partner to shop with who doesn’t let you go astray.

#3 Don’t give in to the frenzy!
Sales, discounts, freebies and other attractive offers can really drive anybody crazy! Maintain your sanity and save money by not following the crowd. Don’t let the mad frenzy drive your decision to make a purchase. A crowd rush is what influences one to make choices which lead to overspending. Swiping the credit card on unplanned expenses is a definite way of getting into trouble. Repayment becomes stressful and accumulated interests rates hit hard.

#4 Stick to the list!
There couldn’t be a more basic but effective point related to holiday shopping. Planning is everything. That way one can steer clear of situations wherein unaccounted expenses are made and repayment becomes an issue. When we have a list, the estimated expense is already known. Provisions are made accordingly for repayment. Disciplined credit behavior will keep stress away and your CIBIL score favorable. It starts with sticking to the shopping list!

#5 Compare and buy!
Be a smart spender and a savvy consumer. Once you have prepared the list, check for the prices on various shopping platforms. Often there are higher discounts offered when a purchase is made through a mobile application. You can also check for other discounts online and use those prices to negotiate a better deal in local stores. All the discounts clubbed together will save up considerably. Which also means that you will swipe that card for a lesser amount and repayment will be easier. Compare, buy and save! Yes it is indeed that simple and incredible.

Spending on credit during the holiday season is a temptation difficult to resist.  So keep a track of the expenses and have a repayment plan. That way nothing can take the holiday joy away from you. Not even the credit card bill after the holidays! Spend wisely, spread joy and enjoy the holiday season. Merry Christmas!

CreditVidya

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