29 Dec Avoid a Debt Mess for Christmas and New Years
The holiday season is upon us and with it, an uptick in the amount of shopping most of us are doing. Maybe you already took advantage of certain holiday sales offered on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. While taking advantage of holiday period deals can save you some money in the overall scheme of things, it’s still possible to spend more than you need to this holiday season without realizing it until January.
With this in mind, here are some ways to exercise financial responsibility during the holidays:
Don’t Buy Everything New
If you shop around and cheaper outlet stores or bargain locations, you may find some unique toys, books, and high-end electronics that you didn’t know were available for sale. Plus, don’t forget you can even buy some refurbished electronics online at much lower prices without sacrificing quality. Remember, cheaper doesn’t mean any less of a giving spirit.
Map Out Repayment
If you’re going to spend more than you make this month thanks to the holidays, it’s imperative you do so responsibly. This means mapping out your repayment plan in the weeks and months ahead. Whether applying for a cash advance online or charging another few hundred to your credit card, do the math to figure out how long it will take to pay it off. Holiday debt is ideally paid off no later than March Can you meet this deadline? If not, go back to the drawing board to see if you can’t make larger monthly payments.
Make Your Own Decorations
Ornaments and outdoor displays can sometimes be made easily right in your own home. Instead of buying these items all new, maybe take the time to have your family make them as part of a craft activity or as a learning experience. Children usually love decorating Christmas trees, and these activities can be a part of that. If you need extra decoration material that you can’t make on your own such as lights, consider checking around with family or friends to see if they have any spare sets of lights laying around that they don’t need anymore.
Make a Holiday Budget
Maybe you already have a normal budget you try to follow throughout the year, but having another budget for the holidays could help you avoid too much end-of-year debt. This can help you keep tabs over potentially less income you might get during days or weeks off, and you can choose which things you’ll use with your credit card and which to stick to cash for payments. Furthermore, it gives you a way to look ahead and see what next year will hold at the outset. This is helpful in making sure the next holiday season is an even more refined version of this one.
The holidays are a time for many people to go all out in pursuit of buying their loved ones the best gifts possible. While there’s nothing wrong with this objective, nobody should go broke trying to be an awesome gift giver. Instead, take the right steps to have a budget-friendly holiday shopping experience.