Your credit cards can harm your health

However, some people may be more motivated to pay off the card with the lowest balance, regardless of the interest rate. This method, sometimes referred to as “snowball,” works the same way: it covers the minimum payment on all cards, but allocates your extra money to the smallest balance until you pay it off, then move on to the next card. “I love the snowball method because you have instant success,” said Melinda Oberman, president of Credit.org, a nonprofit financial advisory agency in Riverside, California.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and late on your payments, you might consider seeking help from a nonprofit credit counseling agency. These agencies can help assess your situation and negotiate a plan with your card companies to allow you to pay off balances in installments, usually two to five years. in the United States National Credit Counseling Corporation It can help you take the first step.

Shoppers plan to spend nearly $1,000 this holiday season on gifts, food, decorations and other holiday-related purchases, according to 2021 forecast From the National Retail Federation.

However, Oberman said many customers have told him that they continue to pay for expenses they incurred with credit cards in the past year. She suggests focusing on enjoying the time you spend with your loved ones during the festive season rather than buying expensive gifts. He said that he asks his clients: “Do you remember what you gave your sister or your brother last year?” He said they often don’t remember her. But they remember the game they all lived with or the dinner they enjoyed. “Memories of the time we spent with family and friends are more important.”

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Jacobs recommends using your credit card only for items you know you can pay for in less than a month. “If you don’t have the money to pay up front, you shouldn’t buy it,” he suggested.

It is also suggested to start developing a file emergency fundIf possible, cover three to six months of daily expenses. This way, you’re less likely to run into high-interest credit card debt if you suddenly have to pay an unexpected bill.

When it comes to the holidays, the primary way to avoid overspending is to make a plan for how much you spend before you go shopping, says Abigail Sussman, an associate professor of marketing at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business who teaches. How consumers make their decisions. “It may be helpful to set a low spending target,” he advised.

Myrtle Frost

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