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How to be smart about your holiday spending

For people who are already in debt in North Carolina, recovering from bankruptcy or experiencing financial trouble, the holidays can present a problem. Expectations are high and most people want to be able to provide wonderful gifts for everyone on their list. For people who have children, it can be even more tempting to overspend. However, doing so would be unwise as it will likely only lead to further debt. Here are some things that people should know if they want to avoid hurting their finances this holiday season.

While it can be difficult to take a more tempered approach to holiday spending and celebrations, it will likely be beneficial to do so according to CBS News. Many people think that they are making the season magical for their loved ones by indulging in every gift and experience. But having an honest conversation about money can not only help lower expectations but it may actually provide an opportunity to teach a lesson about responsible spending.

Consumers would also be wise to take stock of their finances before they start shopping. That way they can come up with a realistic budget and have a better chance of successfully sticking to it. The average American is predicted to spend $935.58 during this holiday season. That number will likely not be realistic for many people.

In addition, many stores offer so-called great deals for people who open store credit cards. Smart shoppers would be wise to avoid signing up for them, explains Forbes. Some stores offer an in-store discount the day you open your card. If you are experiencing financial problems or plan to make a big purchase in the near future this can be bad, since any time you apply for credit it ends up on your credit report. A better option may be a traditional credit card since those companies usually offer longer introductory periods with 0 percent interest and their standard annual percentage rates are generally much lower than the stores offer. 

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