This is a tough season when money is tight (and always a tough season for resisting impulse buying). One of my favorite legal self-help publishers has an article I’m running in series, on 12/1, 12/8, 12/15 and 1/14.
Tips to keep in mind, thanks to Nolo.
Hope you survived the shopping part — now is the time to focus on paying for what you bought:
When it comes to paying your holiday bills, follow this advice:
Pay by cash, check, or debit card. The best way to avoid finance charges from credit card bills is to keep your credit card in your wallet. Pay by cash, check, or debit card instead.
Pay your credit card bill quickly. Avoid large interest payments by paying off your credit card bill in full. If you can’t do that, pay as much of the bill as you can each month.
Consider transferring the balance to a low-interest card. Look for low-interest credit cards to which you can transfer your credit card balance. You’ll save yourself a bundle if you pay off your $1,000 balance at 6.9% a year rather than 18% per year. But be careful. People who constantly juggle cards often get into financial trouble. And too many open and closed accounts may lower your credit score.
For more information on budgeting and dealing with debt, check out Solve Your Money Troubles: Get Debt Collectors Off Your Back & Regain Financial Freedom, by Robin Leonard and attorney John Lamb (Nolo).
Reprinted with permission from the publisher, Nolo, Copyright 2009, Nolo