Photo by szlea
Any day now, the bills from your Christmas shopping trips are going to start showing up. In fact, I just got my credit card statement from the one card we use for almost everything, and it is not pretty. As much as we tried to maintain some restraint on what we bought (along with hand making a lot of gifts) we still managed to rack up almost $1,000 in credit card receipts for the holidays. My wife and I set a cap of about $100 for each other, leaving about $800 for everybody else. And we have big families!
So now that the bill has arrived, I can see how easily small purchases can add up. We don’t normally budget a certain amount to spend on everyone else, but we didn’t really think the bill was going to be this high. $15, $25, $30 gifts sure add up when you buy a lot of them and pay to ship them home. Mind you I am not complaining about how much we spent; but rather I am amazed at how things add up.
The first order of business is to pay off this credit card as the interest rate is astronomical because it’s a rewards card and thus we never keep a balance on it at all. Who wants to pay 23% interest on Christmas gifts? The way I see it I have 2 choices – I can make 2 payments of $500 over the next month before the final due date or I can bite the bullet and pull $1000 out of one of the money market accounts and send it on it’s merry way. I think I will do #2 as I want to get it over with and not worry about the balance or having it hanging over my head for the next couple of weeks.
How are you handling your bills from this holiday season? Are you getting rid of them right away? Did you pay cash for everything? Are you taking a few months to pay them all off? If so, be sure the interest rate is really low!