Cash Advance Loans and Christmas | Beware of Specials

Using short term loans to fund the holidays

Dont go crazy over every holiday sale sign. Image from Flickr.

Don't go crazy over every holiday sale sign. Image from Flickr.

Cash advance loans are great tools for stretching your budget. A lot of people this year are looking for creative ways to fund Christmas gifts. The recession is deemed “over” by experts, but there are still a few months to get through before tangible improvements are apparent. Many people are still working with limited budgets as the holidays are quickly approaching.

Don’t be fooled

Though it seems like specials and freebies abound, be sure to think about what you are really getting into. In particular in a depressed economy retailers are working overtime to get you to come into their stores. They have deep discounts to lure you in, and then showcase other more expensive items to woo you into buying beyond your budget. Here are some tips on how to handle the Christmas shopping season wisely:

  • Don’t be fooled by the signs. Sure “50% off” sounds nice, but research before you start spending. You may find an item at 50% off at Store A, but that same item, combined with a coupon, could come out to be 55% off at Store B. You also should look at whether or not you really need the item. Too many times people are dazzled at the savings sign and don’t realize until a few years later that what they bought was unnecessary.
  • Keep your receipts. The great thing about keeping your receipts is that you can watch the sales and if the item goes down in price, you can recoup your loss. You also want to hold on to the receipts in case the person you gave the gift to wants to return it. Better yet, get a gift receipt along with the item so they can return it for credit or cash.
  • Don’t buy everything on credit. Industry experts estimate that those who buy on credit spend about 30% more than those who shop with cash. The reason is mental—shopping with cash is a visual activity. You can see the money you are dishing out. Although buying on credit seems simple, remember that you are going to have to face a bigger bill when your credit card statement comes in. It’s easier to take out a small cash advance loan and pay for gifts with cash than deal with high interest or late fees that overspending on a credit card can bring.
  • Going overboard with spending. Bringing the biggest, most expensive gift to Christmas dinner may sound like a good thing, but unless you have that money to give away, it’s a bad idea. Go to the store with a definite budget and commit to not going over it. The true point of Christmas is to gather together with loved ones, not to impress the room.
  • Think of the extras and budget them in. Remember to factor all expenses into your budget. Sure there are gifts, but if you also agreed to host dinner, remember it costs to get the extras. Wine, appetizers, and centerpieces all cost money and take time. A good idea is to give your closer guests tasks. For example, ask your best friend to bring the centerpiece a half hour earlier than the rest of the guests. Let her set it up so you have one less thing on your budget and your mind.

Christmas planning made simple

Christmas is a time for families and friends to get together and enjoy each other. There are some tips to perfecting the Christmas season without going over budget. Using cash advance loans is one of the easiest ways to fund the holidays and it can assure that you won’t regret your spending come the new year.

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