5 Tips to Avoid Looming Credit Card Debt this Holiday Season

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In today’s retail world, it seems that Christmas comes earlier and earlier every year. I’m honestly surprised that stores don’t set out Christmas ornaments next to the Halloween candy! In a society where the holiday season is synonymous with overspending, there are ways to avoid going into credit card debt.

Using a credit card for your holiday shopping can make sense: it can give you a bigger line of credit while also earning you cashback and other rewards. But it also comes with a price; studies show that people spend more money when using a credit card. Here are five great ways to avoid diving into credit card debt this holiday season:

1. Create a written holiday budget. It is better to set boundaries before you get to the store and are tempted by all the fun, new gadgets and gizmos. By creating a budget beforehand, you’re less likely to allow your hard-earned money to burn a hole in your wallet (or through your credit card).

2. Make regular payments from your checking account to your credit card. By making regular payments on your credit card, you avoid being overwhelmed by the final holiday bill. This forces you to watch your budget closely and keeps you from paying that pesky credit card interest.

3. Set up email and text alerts for your account balance. You can’t ignore what you’ve spent if you’re reminded daily! Setting up alerts will keep you in-the-know of your spending against your budget.

4. Use a separate credit card just for holiday shopping. It can be hard to track if you use one credit card for all purchases. Use a separate credit card for your holiday purchases; that way you can keep a close eye on your spend and know that you’re paying off your gift purchases when making payments.

5. Don’t go overboard. This is the easiest way to avoid credit card debt all together. Buy gifts that you are comfortable purchasing and that you can afford. It may be cool to purchase your nephew the latest and greatest new gaming system out there, but if it’s going to put you in the hole by hundreds of dollars, there must be a better alternative that will make everyone happy.

At Telhio Credit Union, we strive to be your first choice for all your credit needs. Before the holiday season begins, make sure you have the best credit card for your financial needs. Telhio has several VISA® card options that have many great benefits, including low interest rates. We also offer personal and business cards with a 0% introductory rate, exclusive reward options and merchandise and gift cards. Learn more at telhio.org.

Telhio Credit Union is also here to help your small business succeed. Contact us or stop in your neighborhood Telhio to see what opportunities we have for your small business.

Telhio Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, Union, Hamilton, Warren, Butler and Preble counties. Founded in 1934, originally as the credit union for the Columbus Telephone Co., Telhio is a not-for-profit financial cooperative where its members are also its owners. Driven by its philosophy that members come first, Telhio is committed to the highest standards of responsibility and conduct. Telhio offers a variety of innovative programs, services and products to support its members’ financial needs. Telhio offers 12 branching offices throughout central and southwestern Ohio and nearly 4,000 shared branching locations nationwide. Federally insured by NCUA.