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Have Yourself a Debt-Free Holiday

With the holidays swiftly approaching, so is the pressure of holiday shopping. Buying for others is fun and the holiday season often brings out our generosity, but without planning ahead it can be easy to go overboard and spend more than you intend. Here are some helpful hints to avoid draining your bank account so you can enjoy a debt-free holiday season.

“He’s making a list, he’s checking it twice!” And you should too. To prevent yourself from being overwhelmed by holiday shopping, make a list of who you are shopping for and determine your overall budget in advance. Creating a list and budget can help keep your spending in check. Consider selecting what you will purchase before you go shopping. This can help limit impulse buys that could break your budget. If you have a game plan and stick to it you can avoid financial problems later.

Use one card. Review your current credit sources and determine which one has the appropriate limit you need, a favorable interest rate, advantageous payment terms and provides you the best reward for usage. Using just one card can help you track spending and stay on top of making timely payments. Remember, the goal is to enjoy the holidays while not damaging your credit condition so stay within your budget and aim to pay off the balance the following month, if possible. Stay secure by adding the card to your mobile wallet.

Track Your Spending. Creating a list and budget is a great starting place, but you need to ensure you are staying on track. Mobile banking is an easy way to keep an eye on your account 24/7. You can monitor transactions, check your balance, deposit checks and transfer funds.

Complete your shopping early. Shopping earlier allows you to put some thought into your holiday gift list and spread out your purchases which can help keep your spending under control. More importantly, if you finish your shopping early, you get to relax and have a joyous time with your family.

These helpful hints can set the stage for a wonderful holiday season. By making wise choices now and budgeting effectively you can avoid a debt hangover in the New Year.

 

Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC and an Equal Opportunity Lender.