Tips To Avoid Overspending

Tips To Avoid Overspending

Cash or credit? It’s probably one of the most important decisions you’ll make at the store. All too often consumers overspend without realizing it, by reaching for their credit cards without thinking twice. And for many people it takes months or even years to pay off bills for unnecessary expenses. “It’s important to not get caught up and overspend at the store or when shopping online,” said Michael McAuliffe, president of the non-profit Family Credit Management Services. “Charging your purchases is not the problem. Emotional or impulse spending is the problem, and credit cards simply make it easier.” {{more}}The experts at Family Credit Management are offering some tips to help avoid sinking into extra debt: * Create a detailed shopping budget before hitting the mall. If the total is too high, decide whether to scale back or delay certain purchases. * Avoiding “window shopping” , which increases the temptation to buy items not on your list. But when you are shopping, either locally or online, check out coupon websites and in-store discounts. * When shopping online beware of “recommendation software” that convinces you to buy things that a few minutes earlier you didn’t even know existed. If your life was fine five minutes ago without it, you don’t need it now. * Use a debit card instead of credit, but make sure you know how much is in your account — you don’t want to bounce checks or be charged overdraft fees. * Steer clear of new department store credit card offers of immediate savings. They usually charge higher interest rates than the major cards such as Visa or Mastercard and will simply add to your debt. Just opening one may negatively affect your credit score. * Make your own gifts for birthdays and special occasions. The most cherished gifts are frequently the “heirloom gifts,” passed down through family members. Or you can use your existing talents and skills to create thoughtful gifts, such as writing a short story for your favorite niece and nephew. For additional shopping tips, general money management tips or a spending plan, visit www.familycredit.org. Remember, steering clear of unneeded, excess debt starts before you hit the stores by planning smartly in advance.