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Holiday, Vacation & Weekend

 

Give The Holiday Season A Little Credit

Falling into the trap of overspending on credit cards during the holiday season is never a good thing as far as your wallet is concerned, but wise spending with credit during your holiday shopping can be really beneficial.

If you already have excessive credit card debt, using credit to make your holiday gift purchases is likely not in your best interest. On the other hand, if you’ve been careful with your spending and you want to use credit cards for your purchases- here i...

credit, credit cards, credit card statment, credit card charges

Falling into the trap of overspending on credit cards during the holiday season is never a good thing as far as your wallet is concerned, but wise spending with credit during your holiday shopping can be really beneficial.

If you already have excessive credit card debt, using credit to make your holiday gift purchases is likely not in your best interest. On the other hand, if you’ve been careful with your spending and you want to use credit cards for your purchases- here is how you can benefit most from using credit cards this season.

Determine Your Holiday Budget: And Stick to it Like a Melted Candy Cane!

The reason credit cards have gotten a “bad name” is because they are misused. People get carried away with the power of accessible cash, and sometimes forget it’s money that has to be paid back- or at least they aren’t thinking about how much they’ll pay for each purchase after the interest has been accounted for!

Determine how much money you can afford to spend on your holiday gift purchases. You want to be able to comfortably pay back the money within a month or two of charging it to your credit card, to keep your interest rates down and to be sure you don’t end up with a costly debt that lingers for years.

Use a Cash Back or Rewards Credit Card

One of the best ways to benefit from holiday shopping with credit cards is to use a cash back or rewards credit card. The holidays are typically a time when there is reason to spend more money in a short period of time, and far more than you normally would, which helps you earn more rewards on this type of credit card. Rewards credit cards work by giving back a percentage of your sales as a credit on your statement, or in terms of points that can be used to redeem merchandise, discounted items, airline tickets, hotel discounts or rental cars.

During the holiday season, many credit card companies release special cards with bonus rewards programs. For example, many cards offer higher cash back percentages during the months of November and December- or they may offer double cash back rewards for the first 5 months upon opening your account. These are perfect cards to make the best out of your holiday shopping! It’s like saving money on every purchase you make, without having to deal with sales advertisements or coupons.

Avoid Peppy Store Clerks Who Offer Store Credit Cards

The holiday season is the perfect time for store cashiers to step up their in-store credit promotions! They’ll offer you 10-15% off “today’s purchase” when you open a store credit card to make the purchase. That sounds great, right? Saving an instant 15% on that day’s purchase.

Unfortunately, almost all department store credit cards feature extremely high interest rates. While you may save 15% on your $100 purchase, the interest you’ll be charged could be as high as 25%- so if you don’t pay the bill off in it’s entirely the moment it arrives in your mailbox, you end up spending over the 15% savings in interest fees! When you are offered a discount for opening a store credit card, ask what the interest rate is. If it’s higher than the discount, just skip it and use your rewards credit card or pay using cash- that way you know you’ve saved the high interest, as well as an inquiry to your credit report and an additional line of credit that can lower your credit score (even if you make all your payments on time!)

 

Going Broke On Your Credit Card These Holidays

Credit cards usage is likely to increase once again this holiday season. As usual, consumers are in the mood of buying presents for their loved ones whiles shops are looking forward to a fantastic profit. This inarguably, is the best season for mostbusinesses.

In fact, some take home as much as more than 40% of their total annual profits during the Christmas season alone. People, who may have saved throughout the year for this purpose, there will be no worries but plenty t...

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Credit cards usage is likely to increase once again this holiday season. As usual, consumers are in the mood of buying presents for their loved ones whiles shops are looking forward to a fantastic profit. This inarguably, is the best season for mostbusinesses.

In fact, some take home as much as more than 40% of their total annual profits during the Christmas season alone. People, who may have saved throughout the year for this purpose, there will be no worries but plenty to look forward to - good things of course. It also means they do not have to worry about the credit card debt and the bills that come in January.

Loyal clients of the British-based company, Farepak Hampers have not been lucky as the "trusted" company with which they have diligently deposited their money in the hope of using it on presents for their loved ones and families this Holiday season has spectarculary collapsed. The state of affairs means that these customers are left with nothing and will have to find other ways of obtaining money to purchase their presents. With company bosses having pulled out of an expensive insurance scheme earlier to this collapse, there is likely to be no compensation of any sort for these forlorn customers.

Company bosses from the failed company say their bank HBOS, has severely disappointed them whereas the bank has issued a long statement stating that the company bosses are to blame since they refused to secure their loan using their own funds. Hence they were forced to pull the plug on them. Worse still the former boss, William Rollason, withdrew from the Direct Selling Association as he did not wish to shell out expensive insurance that covered customers saving for the festive holidays.

For these unlucky customers of this beleagured company, a fund has been set up for them with contributors such as HBOS. So far only £3 milion has been raised, which nothing compared to the £40,000,000 required. Thus some of the savers interviewed have said they will have to fall on their credit card to make the shortfall. This is not the ideal, as credit card means debt in the future and some may not be able to pay the whole bill in full and the end of January leading to all sorts of unwanted hardships.

To avoid a huge credit card debt and the headache that comes with it, it may be better to avoid using a credit card altogether. Although, we would all like to shell out some presents on our loved ones, it is best to do so within our budget. Using your credit card for purchasing presents can mean spending the rest of the following year just clearing those debts. The cumulative consequences can even land you with a low credit score and in need of credit repair.

Nevertheless, many of us are likely to use our credit cards. If so it's important to do some forward planning.

 

Select The Right Credit Card Before The Holiday Spending Season Begins

With the holiday spending season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about strategies for not overspending. Ideally, you’d like to be able to get through to the end of the year buying as little as possible on credit. The average family ends the holiday season having spent between $1,000 to $1,500. Since most people don't plan on the expense of their giving, those holiday costs are typically racked up on credit cards, making your new year miserable with money c...

budjeting, credit card, holiday spending, Raquel Morphy, savings, virtual bookkeeping

With the holiday spending season just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about strategies for not overspending. Ideally, you’d like to be able to get through to the end of the year buying as little as possible on credit. The average family ends the holiday season having spent between $1,000 to $1,500. Since most people don't plan on the expense of their giving, those holiday costs are typically racked up on credit cards, making your new year miserable with money concerns and busted budgets.

If you begin saving a small amount monthly in January, you won’t be tempted to dip into your credit cards. Contributing $100 a month to a Holiday Spending Account will help you save $1200 annually (not including accrued interest). Even though we’re months away from the holiday season, setting aside $100 to $250 for the next few months will give you a bit of relief from your credit cards come December.

So start your Holiday Spending Account today. If you don’t end up using it this year, at least it will be in place for the following holiday season.

If you are tempted to buy on credit in addition to starting a Holiday Spending Account you should find the credit card that’s right for you. With the large number of credit cards available today, finding the best credit card can be overwhelming.

Below is a four step process to guide you in selecting the right cards for you.

STEP ONE: Define your objectives. Do you want to lower an interest rate on an existing card? Do you need to keep your business expenses separate from your personal expenses? Clearly define your objectives before moving on to step two.

STEP TWO: Know the different types of cards. While Credit cards are separated into seven different categories, we’ll focus on the following:

• Regular Credit Cards: These are the traditional credit cards. They give you a specific credit limit based on your financial history and then charge you an annual percentage rate on your outstanding balance.

• Rewards Cards: A Regular Card with "bells and whistles". As an incentive to use the card, you are provided certain rewards depending on how much you charge. These rewards can range from a cash rebate to air travel rewards or benefits at particular retailers. There are many variations and combinations available.

• Business Cards: For business owners and sometimes employees. These are good if you need to separate business from personal expenses. They are basically a Regular card but may also have Rewards features.

STEP THREE: Know the terms of your current cards. If you’ve owned the same card for a while, you’d probably be surprised at how many of the details you’ve forgotten about your card. If you already own credit cards, take a look at the details to see if you can improve in any of the following areas.

- Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on purchases and cash advances
- annual fee
- balance method used for calculating the finance charge
- are there rewards?

Get all the details, then start comparing your existing cards to the alternatives.

STEP FOUR: Choose a card. Now that you know what your objectives are and are familiar with the terms of your current credit as well as the different types of, you are ready to find the best credit card. As a general rule, how often you pay your bills will have a major influence on the type of card you may want to choose. In short, if you carry a balance, consider a credit card with a low APR. If you’re a business owner, you should consider a business card to keep business transactions separate from personal transactions.

Take time this week to review your current credit cards and last year’s holiday spending habits. A little time can save you money and help you begin the New Year in style.




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