How to Take a Practical Approach to In-Store Credit Card Offers During the Holidays
We hear it almost anytime we purchase an item at a store that offers an in-store credit card, “Would you like to apply for our store credit card?” Most major retailers such as Home Depot, Target, and Kohl’s offer a credit card that can only be used in that particular store. During the holidays, it might seem like a good idea to get that additional 20% off for opening up a store credit card. Experts say that consumers should definitely be cautious during the holiday season, as the idea of getting a store credit card might be enticing. You can buy all your gifts at one location, and not have to spend any money up front. Here are some tips to stay practical with credit cards during the holiday season.
Create a holiday budget
Not only do we have to spend money on gifts throughout the holiday season, but consumers must purchase food and decorations as well. All of this adds up, and a budget can be really helpful in spending conservatively during the holiday months. Create a budget for how much you would like to spend in total, for all gifts you must purchase. It might be easier to first create a list of who you need to purchase presents for, and determine how much can be spent on each person.
Also be sure to budget for holiday food supplies. Are you hosting a holiday and need to supply food for a large number of people? Or are you attending another location where you only have to bring one or two food items? The earlier you know your holiday plans, the better you can prepare a budget for the cost of food. Every year stores come out with new decorations, which you might be tempted to buy. If you know that you spend money every year on a couple of new items, go ahead and budget for how much you can allow yourself to spend this year. Always remember that after holiday decoration sales provide consumers with the best savings!
Now is a store credit card worth it?
After creating a holiday budget, you can better determine if an in-store credit card is right for you. If you slacked in the holiday savings department, and need extra money for the holiday season, an in-store credit card might be a great option. You can also explore layaway options, which allow you to pay for items throughout an extended period of time. Financial experts warn consumers of high interest rates, especially for in-store credit cards – just like taking on title loans or personal loans. If you must apply for an in-store credit card during the holiday season, make sure it is for a store that has a variety of items. Target is a great place for an in-store credit card because they have items you might need for gifts, decorations, and food. Try not to max out an in-store credit card, and look for holiday savings deals for that particular store.
It can definitely be hard to stay practical when it comes to money during the holiday season. Sometimes we rush and wait until the last minute, and by that time it might be too late. Always make sure you are using your best personal finance judgement when it comes to applying for a credit card, even during the holiday season!