Big occasions can be an expensive time of year. If you have a lot of family to go around at Christmas, Hanukkah or Eid, you might be left wondering how you are going to pay for it all. Here, we compare the pros and cons of using a credit card versus using savings to buy gifts.
Using a credit card to buy gifts might seem like a good idea, as you can take your time to pay it back. Credit cards often offer extra benefits on purchases, such as protection of purchases. Some credit cards also come with travel or life insurance provisions, which is another reason why they are great to use for gift purchases. If you know you will be able to pay your credit card off each month, they can be a great option to help build your credit score.
However, using a credit card means it is very easy to go over budget quickly when shopping for lots of gifts. Also, some have high interest rates, meaning if you are unable to pay back what you owe quickly, you could get into money problems. Credit card fraud is also a big problem. Cards can easily be lost or stolen, and if you have been spending a lot you might not notice straight away if something is wrong.
If you are able to save up throughout the year, this is probably the best way to pay for gifts. Plan to set aside a little money each month when you get paid, then by the time the big event comes around, you will have a good amount saved ready to go shopping. If you can save in cash, you can take it with you when you go to the shops, meaning it’s easy to stick to your budget. If you have previously had problems with debt or credit cards, it is usually a better idea to stick with using cash.
The problem with using savings when buying gifts is if you have an emergency shortly afterwards and have already used up your funds. Also, you can easily lose or misplace cash, especially if you have been keeping it in a ‘safe’ place!
If you are looking online for Islamic gifts for her, you will need a credit or debit card. This is another great advantage of cards – they can be used to make reservations or buy gifts online as well as in store.