There are so many deals available on Black Friday and the holiday season in general it can be very difficult to prevent yourself from giving in to impulsive shopping. One splurge and before you know it you’ve gone beyond the budget you’ve set for yourself.
Do not worry if you gave in to some impulsive holiday shopping. Your credit card can surprisingly protect you from impulsive purchases in a few ways.
Pay it off later
You may not have wanted to create more debt, but at least you were able to avoid spending money directly out of your checking account if you used your credit card to shop. Credit cards protect you from impulse shopping because you do not have to pay the full balance on the card right away.
Once you realized you gave in to impulse shopping, devise a plan to pay your balance back. People that have a credit card with no interest should do their best to pay down the balance to zero before that interest starts to build. If that balance is too high due to spending that did not involve impulse shopping then there is still a smart way to pay down your new debt balance.
Paying off your new debt balance should not be hard with proper planning. First, devise a plan to only pay back your new purchases from impulse shopping. Let’s say Joe Impulse bought a new computer for a discounted price of $750. He already had a balance of $1,000 so the new purchase made his overall credit card balance rise to $1,750. He wants to pay off the computer balance as soon as possible. With his budget he decided he could pay back the new portion of his debt in four months. Therefore, he plans to dedicate $187.50 every month for four months to pay off the $750 he spent on the computer. He will then make up a new plan to pay the remaining balance once the laptop is paid in full. That is an example of a smart way to approach paying off newly acquired debt as a result of impulse shopping.
Try new methods to help reduce your credit card balance if you are running out of ways to pay down your debt. Work a little harder so that this time next year you will have little to no debt.
No interest on newer credit cards
If you recently opened a credit card account with no interest, then you are in luck. Even if you gave in to impulse holiday shopping, at least interest won’t build on your credit cards right away. Try your best to pay off your balance before interest starts to accrue.
Need a credit card this holiday season that won’t build any interest until some time next year? Take a look at our list of holiday credit cards that won’t build interest until 2014.
Wake up call
One moment or day of impulse shopping might be all you need to refrain from giving in to temptation again. There’s nothing wrong with splurging every now and then, as long as you catch yourself before you rack up more debt.
Opting to use your credit card can protect your everyday budget and give you a wake up call to realize there is no need to continue to impulse shop. Take the higher balance on your credit card account as a sign to resist the urge to unnecessarily buy items in the future.