On Your Side: Set a budget, Christmas is about 100 days away

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:50 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It might be hard to believe, but it’s true. Christmas is less than 100 days away. To stay on budget, money experts say to start planning now.

Make a budget

Decide these things now. Who will you buy for, and how much money will you spend? The last thing you want is too much Christmas cheer that leads to credit card debt in the new year.

Consider store cards

You can save big with store cards, sometimes 30 to 50 percent off. Pay your balance in full and on time. Only have one or two store cards.

“If you open ten or twelve all of a sudden that will effect your credit. Not that it won’t repair, but that’s a lot to keep up with. Perhaps a better option is find a credit card you’re comfortable with and use that credit card,” said Rhonda Sorensen with Arvest Bank.

Spend less than 30 percent on card

You know not to max out your cards. Keep usage below 30 percent of available balance. If you use more credit, it will likely impact your score. If you have a 1,000 limit only spend $300 of that.

No impulse purchases

Make a promise to yourself. No impulse purchases.

“You’re sitting on your couch. Putting your stuff in your Amazon cart. That looks fun. By the time you know it, you got ten gifts for the same person. If you’re on a shopping frenzy, leave it in your cart. Walk away. The next day, if you want all those items, different story,” said Sorensen.

Talk to you family

Now’s the time to decide the rules, like one gift per person. Or kids only.

You know the deals start before Black Friday. Amazon Prime Day is October 10 and 11. You can expect other big box stores will have their own sales to compete with the online retailer.

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