How to Avoid The Holiday Debt Trap
Black Friday is almost upon us; but the day that shoppers swarm the stores for deals and sales can have a terrible toll on a post-bankruptcy debtor's debt levels.
Below are a few tips on how post-bankruptcy debtors can avoid the holiday debt trap:
- Keep your holiday shopping to a minimal. Make a short list of the people you're going to purchase gifts for and stick to it. Got a long list of friends and relatives? Still make a short list and send everyone else an inexpensive holiday card. Remember, the debt you take on post-bankruptcy could become your first steps towards new financial troubles, so be careful.
- Use cash and avoid credit cards when making purchases. While credit card use may be "easy" and convenient when you're holiday shopping, it can also be very expensive in the long-term. First of all, using a credit card will make you purchase more than you would if you were using cash. Second, it's not likely that you will pay it all off before accruing interest. So avoid any post-bankruptcy credit card mess by leaving the plastic at home.
- Consider layaway plans. Layaway allows consumers to purchase items without paying for it first and still avoid debt. How it works? The consumer places their purchases in storage at the store while making payments on the purchases over time free of interest. Some stores do charge a small fee, which is nominal compared to the interest the post-bankruptcy debtor could rack up if they use a credit card for their holiday shopping.