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Protecting Your Credit Scores During The Holidays

Managing your finances all throughout the year is the best way to protect your credit rating during the end of year holidays like Christmas.

Most people find it hard to buy a special gift for the ones they love at holidays such as Valentines, birthdays, mother's day and Christmas. This is because they haven't budgeted for these items all year long and when the special occasion arrives they are all stressed over the money needed to make that special purchase.

First off, if you don't have a monthly budget down on paper then you need to make one.  It doesn't have to be complex.  Just use a simple piece of paper to make a list of all of your expenses.  If you have Excel then a spreadsheet of your expenses will be easier.  One you have your list of expenses then you can make an entry each month as to your actual expenses and this will allow you to see where you are going over and be able to cut back in that area.

With regards to money for holiday gifts then this needs to be an item in your monthly budget.  Decide how much you can afford and put that amount away each month.  Simply put away $25, $50 or $100 each month into either a separate savings account or just in a #10 envelope in safe spot in your home.

Then when the holiday comes along you can purchase the gift you want for your loved one out of your envelope.  Yes, this takes just a little bookkeeping  on your part but think of the stress it removes from your life over money and gifts.

If you follow this method then you don't wind up putting all those gifts on your credit cards and then get strapped trying to make the payments in future months.  Then if you find yourself having to skip a payment and get behind you will cause your credit scores to tank and really impact your financial future.

Some other ways to help with holiday purchases is obviously to save on how much those gifts cost.  One method for this is to watch for the item to be on sale and purchase it early.  When it comes to Christmas gifts they are often much cheaper in September and October than if you wait until the last minute in December.  In addition, you will find that the items you want are in stock at this time where they may very well be sold out the closer you get to Christmas.
While you are out shopping for yourself during the year try to keep an eye open for a good deal on a future gift that you are going to need.

Try shopping online.  You can often find better deals on items at sites like Amazon or Ebay than you can in your local retail stores.  Plus, it is easy to watch the daily deals that they offer from the comfort of just sitting in front of your computer.

Another tip is to put little extra bits of money in your holiday savings all along.  Maybe you have a yard sale, then stuff a little of those earnings into your holiday savings envelope. 



Additional Reading
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