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Holiday shopping need not be stressful if you follow these credit card spending tips

5 Tips to manage your credit card spending this festive season

Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, Diwali, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Christmas... there are numerous festivals coming up in the next few months. These are the perfect times to get together with friends and family, exchange gifts, eat sumptuous food, and generally enjoy yourselves. However, all these celebrations also mean spending. While you and your loved ones deserve to indulge, your spending can quickly get out of hand if you are not careful. 

Worry not, we are here to help you. Here’s a simple yet effective guide that can help you keep your credit card spending in check ahead of the festive season.

1. Create a festive budget ahead of time: All good financial practices start with budgeting. Go through your finances, understand how much you can afford to spend, and then stick to your budget – this is the best way to manage your expenditure. To do this, you need to work backwards. First go through your bank balance and expected income that will help you pay off your credit card bill in full in the next 45 days. Narrow it down to a figure. Then make a list of everything you can buy within this budget. Do not, repeat do not, start spending right away thinking you will figure how to pay the bills later.

2. Keep track of your spending: Make a list of everything you need to buy and how much they would cost. Wait for end-of-season sales that have 50%-70% off as these can help you save substantially. As you tick things off your list, track your spending so you know exactly how much you have spent. The easiest way to do this is to use your bank’s mobile app. The credit card section will give you a bird’s eye view of all your shopping. 

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3. Prioritise needs over wants: Wants can be endless. Make sure you give priority to your needs first. This could include home essentials, kitchenware, clothes for the family, gifts for your relatives, delicious goodies, etc. If you have shopped prudently by buying things on discounts and have money left over in your budget, you can move on to fulfilling your wants.

4. Do not fall prey to impulse buys: How many times have you impulsively bought something at a mall or while shopping online, only to regret it later? Buying things that you have not budgeted for will create havoc in your financial planning. A good rule is to tackle impulsive urges is to sleep on it. If you want to buy something, just put off the purchase by a day or two. In most cases, you will realise that you do not need it at all. And if you still want it, plan and buy it the following month. Just delaying your gratification can save you some precious money.

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5. Accumulate and use your reward points: While a credit card is a great tool to buy things on credit, it also has many added benefits. Yes, we are talking about reward points! Almost all credit cards offer points that can be redeemed at leading offline and online stores. If you know you have major purchases coming up in the festive season, save your reward points in the preceding months. You can use them to buy essentials, gifts, electronics, and more. 

Last words

The festive season is a time to enjoy yourself. Overspending will only create stress as you will be worried about mounting credit card debt. Instead, a little planning and careful spending will ensure that your exemplary money management skills stand you in good stead during the festive season.