The holidays are around the corner, and although it’s supposed to be a time of peace and joy, for many it’s actually a time of stressful spending. Here are some tips so you don’t rack up debt over the holidays.
First, trim down your gift list. You don’t need to buy gifts for every person in your family – consider giving only to the children. But if you’d still like to do something nice for the grown-ups, consider a gift exchange – this way, you’re only purchasing one gift. Frankly, if you’re feeling financial pressure, chances are others in your family feel it too — and they might actually be grateful for your suggestion to cut back on gifts.
Another idea is to consider using cash when you shop. When we use our credit cards, it’s easy to overspend. However we’re much more careful when we use cash, so this can help you stick to your budget.
Which brings me to my last tip. Take the time to carefully come up with a budget for the holidays and then be fanatical about sticking to it. If you’re not sure where to start, dig up that credit card bill from last holiday season. How much did you really spend? Did you stick to your budget, or did you suffer from a debt hangover in January and February?
The holidays are about quality time with friends and loved ones — and trust me, they don’t want you to put yourself into debt.
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