It’s easy to get carried away when you love the Christmas spirit of giving. You just want to give and give, but the question is, how much do you have to give?
It’s possible to still enjoy Christmas without suffering the consequences of debt after this joyous season. Still feeling apprehensive, thinking that putting yourself on a budget cuts back on your holiday fun? Think again because holiday debts aren’t real. You are more than welcome to do your personal research. Just Google “holiday debt stories” and run through all the stories until you know how many lives are inconvenienced and ruined by debt. That should be enough of a deterrent for you.
Want to know how to avoid holiday debt? Here are seven tips for you:
- Recognize (and accept) your Limit. Know your budget. Let your family know your budget. Acknowledge the fact that your money is limited. Don’t eat more than you can chew.
- Make a List. After telling yourself and your family about how much money you really have, it’s time to make a complete list of the things you’re supposed to buy, whether these are gifts, food or new clothes for Christmas gatherings. If you don’t know who to give gifts to, try drawing random names to help you decide. Or just write down a list of people you want to give gifts to.
- Use Cash. Now is not the time to max your credit cards especially when you’ve worked so hard to keep your balances low the entire year. Avoid using your credit card for easy payments. If you do charge it, make sure it’s paid off in the next two to three months.
- Follow Your List. Stay on track. Don’t give into the pressure of advertisements encouraging you to spend more, or your kid asking for another toy or gadget that’s way beyond your allotted budget. Stick to the plan, and you’re going to finish the holidays stress-free.
- Be Practical. Find cheap deals online, bulk or bargain items. Don’t think that Christmas gifts are always supposed to be extravagant. It’ll be a good strategy to do some online “window-shopping” to check prices in advance to help you plan out your purchases.
- Cook. If you’re running out of ideas for what gifts to give, you can whip up a good meal that consumes only a small part of your Christmas budget. Bake a batch of cookies or a big cake. People will undoubtedly remember you on Christmas if they love (or hate) your cooking.
- Think Ahead. Lastly, remember that time moves on after Christmas. After this particular holiday season, there are still unexpected payments such as birthdays, and occasions that will require you to spend again. Don’t use all your resources for this one day out of the rest of the year and get trapped into paying for all your expenses this season for months to come. Prevent this by thinking long-term.
Always remember that things always get more expensive as time flies by, and it’s always best to be prepared. Don’t overspend and lose all your money. Be a wise spender this holiday season to give you a brighter, stress-free—with no debt hangovers over your head—start in the new year ahead. Happy holidays!