5 tips to help avoid post-holiday financial stress
Even if you do find some great bargains, credit card interest rates can quickly eat up savings from discounted prices if you carry a balance.
Reduce financial stress in the new year by following these tips:
1. Set a budget for gift spending before you start shopping—one for each person on your list, as well as a total limit for all gifts.
2. Plan to pay the total amount owing on your credit card by the due date to avoid interest charges. If this is not possible, pay as much as you can.
3. If you expect to carry a balance, consider switching to a line of credit, which usually carries a lower interest rate. A low-interest credit card is another option to consider.
4. Avoid taking cash advances on your credit card, as you will be charged interest immediately.
5. Check your monthly statement carefully and report any unauthorized transactions to your credit card company immediately. This is especially important in January, since credit card fraud occurs more frequently during the holiday season.
Wondering how long it will take to pay off your credit card balance if you only make the minimum monthly payment? Find out using the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada’s credit card payment calculator at www.canada.ca/money.