(BPT) - What do we say about the holiday season? It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Amidst the wonder of the season that includes plenty of shopping and celebrating, spending can get out of control. Before we know it, bills come due and suddenly things really aren’t so wonderful anymore.
So this year, let’s flip the script and come into the season with a plan, one that will allow us to celebrate the season, preserve the wonder and step into 2018 with our finances intact. You can do it and these tips can help.
* If you can’t pay cash, then don’t pay at all. A lot of our spending problems come from putting too many purchases on our credit cards during the holidays. Credit card debt is basically a high-interest loan. Don’t be one of the 65 percent of people that keep this credit card debt going. If you can’t pay for it right away, don’t buy it.
* Make your list and check it twice. When finalizing your gift list, add a dollar amount next to each person, then stick to it. This will help you avoid overspending and actually makes you more thoughtful with your gift choices. It’s a win-win.
* Celebrate the experience. Consider gifting experiences like hosting a potluck at your apartment or planning a unique activity for the group to enjoy. These events have the opportunity to create memories for your family and friends that will far exceed those of items they may never use.
* Treat yourself … affordably. We all love to gift ourselves, so set aside a little extra money ahead of time to buy your own present. Just make sure you’ve budgeted for this expense beforehand and don’t overspend on yourself.
* Consider consolidating your debt. If you do find you need a little additional financial support during the holiday season, a personal loan through LendingClub can help. Personal loans are an easy, affordable way to refinance high-interest credit card debt, and offer a lower interest rate at a fixed term so you know when you’ll have your debt under control. LendingClub users on average* save almost $300 per month by consolidating their debt. Sixty-four percent of borrowers report using their loans to refinance existing loans or pay off their credit debit, so do your research to see if this option works for you.
Savor and save this holiday
The most wonderful time of the year doesn’t have to be the most expensive as well. Apply the tips above and stick to your financial plan during all the holiday merrymaking and you’ll set yourself up to make 2018 your best year yet.
*Based on responses from 2,259 borrowers in a survey of 14,049 randomly selected borrowers conducted from 1/1/17-7/31/17, borrowers who received a loan to consolidate existing debt or pay off their credit card balance reported that they saved $287 a month on average.