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The holiday season is filled with celebrations, gift giving, overspending, and debt. Here are some tips to avoid getting a hulking credit card bill after the shopping season is over.

Shopping Mistakes to Avoid

  • Don’t be fooled by marketers who have convinced shoppers that Black Friday means the biggest savings. Nerdwallet recently analyzed 27 Black Friday advertisements and found that of those, 25 retailers listed at least one of the products advertised for at the same price it was sold for last year.
  • Take advantage of the credit card perks you aren’t using, such as extended warranty coverage, price protection, and purchase assurance coverage.
  • Setting a budget is the best way you can avoid spending too much. Create a budget and stick to it. You might also find it’s helpful to use cash. Studies have proven using cash means you’re less likely to splurge on the items you do not need.
  • Retailers love to offer their unique credit cards. And they’ll do anything to get you to buy in – such as offering discounts to get you to open an account. While 20% off on your purchase is a good thing, the high interest rates that often go with those lines of credit are not good. Weigh the pros and cons before you sign up.
  • If you’ve decided to shop late, be wary of overnight shipping costs. If you find yourself in this position, take a look at what retailers offer free shipping. It could save you tons of money in your attempt to have the gifts arrive on time.
  • Utilize price-matching tools that compare items across various retailers. You can download apps that will be able to compare prices from store to store, thus allowing you to get the best price.

Debt Consolidation

If you do find yourself in a bit of trouble in the debt department, there are numerous resources you can work with to help you get back on your feet. Sometimes it’s just a matter of making small tweaks to what you are already doing.