UNITED STATES—We are in that time of year where money is spent swift and fast. I’m not referring to just cash and debit cards. To be honest, it is better to spend your cash or use your debit card because it is your actual money. In addition, with cash you tend to be a bit more guarded about what you spend and how much of it you spend as well.

However, a ton of Americans find themselves in big trouble during the holidays because of the credit card. Yes, the credit card. So many of us have them, but we fail to realize that the credit card can get you in danger so fast it becomes difficult to get out of that debt when it reaches a point you never expected. The small charges can add up quicker than you realize, not to mention, the large charges you make and fail to realize if you don’t pay them off you will incur interest.

That interest is the biggest killer when it comes to credit cards. The more you use and spend, the worse the situation becomes. So here are some key tips this holiday season. 1) If you’re already in major debt and struggling to pay off those credit cards, it might be a very wise decision to NOT use that credit card at all. Find a way to utilize that cash that you have to ensure you’re not putting yourself in a situation that you’re not able to dig yourself out of. Think about which credit card or credit cards have a low interest rate and if you plan to use them this holiday season, stick to a budget. 2) Create a budget.

That’s right, place a budget on what you’re going to spend if you plan to utilize a credit card to purchase gifts this holiday season. Once you have hit that budget, that is it. Put the card away and do not be tempted to use it or spend more money. The budget is reached and if you weren’t able to get gifts for everyone on your list you just let people know. It has been tight this year, when the opportunity arises and I can get you something I will do so. 3) Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it.

So many Americans get in trouble during the Christmas season because they believe they have to get everything because the deal is just too good to pass up. Guess what, that is just wasteful spending, and you will ultimately endure buyer’s remorse. So, tell me, is that item that is sitting in your closet or stored somewhere never touched doing you any good? I have the answer for you; it is not, you just wasted money.

Those are funds that could have gone towards a bill that you have or to pay off that credit card debt that you are continuing to incur debt for because you have not stopped swiping your card. You might think using the credit card is great because you earn points or cash back or rewards for using your card, but you do have to think; is that five or ten percent really worth it? No, it is not when you’re only getting like $1 to $2 back. Now if it was something like spending $50 at this establishment and get half back that is another story. Bigger savings there America.

At the end of the day, you control the money you spend, if you have it to spend it go for it, just remember to pay as much on that credit card as you can. Paying the minimum due on your credit card is not going to stop the interest or help you escape the looming debt. Then again you don’t incur the debt at all if you’re not using the credit card at all.

Written By Jason Jones