Holiday Money Trouble
Money problems that originate during the holiday season can be tracked back to one simple thing, overspending. It is easy enough to do during the holidays, especially with every company advertising at full strength. There is almost nothing that you can do during the holiday season that will not subject you to advertising.
So, what happens if you succumb to this advertising but don’t have the money. You get in debt, because where there is a will, there is a way to pay. Unfortunately, many of these ways to pay come with some real problems. Here are some of the most common ways that people get into trouble paying for their holiday bills.
Putting Off Other Bills
This is one of the easiest ways to cover your holiday spending but it comes with some very big consequences.
Expenses like loan payments and utility bills are easy to put off for a few days or even weeks and some of them will even have grace periods where you pay no fees. Beyond the grace period though, you will find late fees. Push the payments off enough and you could even wind up with 30 day late pays on your credit report.
Putting off bills to pay for your holiday season can put you into a tailspin that may take months to recover from.
Charging Up Credit Cards
This is another, all too easy way to pay for holiday expenses. You credit cards are waiting in your wallet like little time bombs eager to be charged up. Some credit card companies will even conveniently send credit line increases to you this time of year, further encouraging bad spending.
Credit card debt can be the worst kind of debt, because it is easy to ignore. Just keep paying the minimum payment and you can ignore the financial problems as your balances grow. You never really notice the problem until the credit card is fully charged up and you have to face reality. Once forced to address this debt, you have a problem that can take years to overcome.
Taking Out Loans
Finally, let’s talk about loans. Loans are an easy way to pay for the holidays, if you can afford it. We can even help you get an offer if you need 500 dollars to help you pay for the holidays. Having said that, if you can not afford to make the loan payments, a loan can be a terrible idea.
Taking out a loan, especially if you are already living check to check, can throw you into huge financial trouble.
Staying Out Of Holiday Trouble
So, now that we have some of the potential pitfalls from over spending, how can you stay out of trouble this year?
The easiest thing that you can do is simply budget. Pay your regular monthly bills and then work with the money leftover to make your holiday season fun. This can be tricky, especially these days, but it can be done if you keep things simple.
One way to do that is by limiting your gift giving. Cut out gift entirely to extended family and friends, opting for home made presents or a simple card. For those closer to you, like your children, go with a want, a need, a wear and a read.
Simply put, buy them one gift from each category. Something they really want, something that they need, a gift that they can wear and then another to read. Simple, yes, but it still allows enough giving to make the holiday season special.
Shop The Sales Early
Another way to maximize your money this season is to shop the early specials. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals can drastically cut down what you spend.
For this to really work, you have to not be particular about what you buy for friends and family. Choose the deals that represent the best monetary value and be wary of your budget. With all of the “deals”, it can still be easy to spend too much money.
Defer A Loan Payment
Do you have a big installment loan payment coming up? Instead of postponing it, defer it.
Deferring a payment might be easier than you think. Many companies, such as auto loan lenders, even give you the ability to ask for a deferral online. Others will allow you to accomplish this with a simple phone call.
In any case, deferring that 400 or 600 dollar loan payment could pay for your holiday season entirely. The only drawback is extending the length of your loan by one month, but this beats going into credit card debt or otherwise ruining your finances for the upcoming year.
Get A Part Time Gig
Lastly, why not get a part time job to help pay for your holiday. This year in particular, there is a huge labor shortage in the retail and grocery world. That means that getting part time work should be very easy and the pay is higher than ever.
These days, you can earn as much as $15 an hour to simply stock a shelf. Just 20 hours of part time work and you have 300 dollars to use towards holiday spending. Spread those 20 hours of work over several weeks and the work will barely affect your regular schedule.
Getting a part time job can help you stay out of debt this holiday season and it could even leave you in a better position when the holiday is all over. Carry any excess money over into savings and/or keep the job after the holidays are over to make the next year even better.