JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — First Florida Credit Union is offering tips on what you should do and avoid while shopping for this holiday season.
The holiday season is here, which means it’s time to spend money. The National Retail Federation predicts that Americans will spend up to $9.6 billion, a record, this holiday season.
According to Forbes, more than half of these shoppers will pay for gifts with credit cards.
This week, Action News Jax’s John Bachman sat down with Stuart Davis, the community relations and member development manager at First Florida Credit Union. He said there is one big mistake people make when using credit cards: They buy now and think they’ll figure out how to pay later.
“In January, you’re going to get a big bill, and you want to make sure that you have that in your budget,” he explained. “I know I use the word ‘budget,’ but it’s planning, and knowing when you get your bill, ‘What did you spend on?’”
Davis said it’s important to have a plan on how you’re going to pay off the credit card debt. There are ways to make it less painful to pay off, such as transferring to a new credit card with zero interest.
“It can do that for maybe 9 months to 12 months, so you can spread out your payments,” Davis said. “Then, you can maybe double your minimum payments, and it gets it done a lot faster.”
Davis also recommended knowing your interest rates before you start shopping.
“You might have some card that you have less balance on, and it’s a lower percentage. That might be the one you want to use right now because if you use the higher rates, you’re just going to pay higher fees,” he said.
Davis said if you do your research on the best rates, you’ll likely find a good deal.
You can hear Bachman’s full conversation with Stuart Davis about budgeting for the holidays, avoiding scams and managing stress Sunday on “This Week in the 904.”
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