Holiday Spending

By: Bob Guy

Spending extra money around the holidays can be very easy. There are so many family members, friends and important people in your life that you would love to express your appreciation to. All too quickly, we seem to run out of money and still have things on our wish lists that we try to find a way to buy. A lot of people resort to running up their credit card bills at this time of year. But what other options are there?

Try to find a way to make extra money if you can. Offer to clean your friends' houses or do some yard-work around your neighborhood. Have a garage sale and get rid of some useless items. This is a good way to make room for new stuff coming in around Christmas time anyway. Ask for extra hours at work or take a second job providing seasonal help to local businesses. If you just don't have time for the extra work, don't give up. There are other ways that you can get some Christmas money fast.

Running up your credit cards should be your absolute last resort. Many people find that when they charge Christmas gifts, they just end up making minimum payments on them for the whole next year. Then when the next Christmas rolls around, they still haven't paid off the gifts from the year before, and the problem compounds. Not only did the interest cause you to grossly overpay for each and every item that you charged, but now you've probably racked up a few miscellaneous fees as well. If you made one late payment on those fifteen dollar slippers, then you probably paid about fifty dollars for them in the end. That is, if you decided to pay off the principal when you paid the late fee.

So what's another alternative? If you need to borrow money for the holidays, then your goal should be to only borrow as much as you need. Your second goal should be to pay it back as quickly as possible so that you don't give the loan time to cost you a lot of interest. You especially don't want to carry on making minimum payments forever or risk having a late payment at some point. Both paying late and only paying the minimum can hurt your credit. So how do you help your credit while borrowing for the holidays without getting yourself into a long-term bind? You could consider a quick online loan.

Online loans generally have less paperwork and involve less scrutiny than a regular bank loan. Some web sites even boast a faxless approval process. Just fill out an application online and you could have money in your bank within twenty four hours. The payoff is much quicker, sometimes as fast as your next payday. You can choose to pay it off in a shorter or longer amount of time. See if you can get a payday loan or cash advance with someone who doesn't charge an early payoff fee. Some also offer to pull payments directly from your bank account on your payday so that you don't have to worry about late payments. If you need money fast, then a or could be your answer.

Money Management
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