Tag Archives: Shopping

Spend wisely this holiday season

by Airman 1st Class Andrea Posey
1st Special Operations Wing Public Affairs

The holidays are fast approaching, and for many this may lead to overspending – a common occurrence among Airmen.

The average family charges around $1,500 on credit cards during this time of the year. Consider this, if your credit card company charges a 14-percent interest rate and you pay only the minimum amount each month, it will take you eight years and cost over $1,000 in interest to pay it off.

The following tips can help Airmen to avoid overspending so they can enjoy the holidays without debt.

· Save throughout the year: Many banks have special savings accounts, called “Christmas Clubs”, you can contribute monthly allotments into to save for the holidays.

· Plan holiday spending: Create a written plan with spending limits for each gift, or draw names with friends and family and only buy a gift for one person.

· Avoid shipping charges: Plan for an additional $10 for gifts bought online to cover shipping costs so you don’t exceed your spending limit. Watch for specials that offer free shipping, or buy a gift card instead.

· Shop year-end sales: Shop after-Christmas deals and put the gift away for next year.

· Portion the holidays: Gift purchases should be portioned by what can be afforded, by cash, check or debit card. Aviod using credit.

· Consider layaway: Many stores offer layaway plans with little-to-no fees. Put gifts on layaway three to four months ahead and make payments over time instead of all at once. Be sure to make layaway payments on time.

· Personalize the holidays: Put thought into your gifts and consider making something instead of buying. Gifts like baked goods, handmade ornaments or pictures in nice frames offer a personal touch.

The holidays are a time to enjoy family and friends. You’ll be able to enjoy it more knowing you won’t be haunted by bills long into the new year.