6 Tips To Avoid The Dreaded Holiday Debt

money-mistakes-during-the-holidaysThe holiday season can be a wonderful time of the year. If you have charged a lot of your holiday gifts and expenses it can dampen your holiday spirit. You are too concerned about the bills coming due beginning in January. Unfortunately some people are still paying off their holiday expenditures many months into the new year.

Here are six tips which will help you avoid incurring lots of debt for the holidays.

  1. Put money aside just for use to purchase gifts and other necessities for the holiday season. If you can put some money aside each week starting in January you should have a nice sum to use for the holiday shopping. If you didn’t start at the beginning of the year start now so you have some cash put aside.
  2. Set a budget and stick to it. Make a list of those people you want to give a gift. Next to each name place an amount to spend. When you go shopping you need to stay within the amount allocated for that person. You need to include other expenses on your budget list in addition to gifts. You may want to purchase some decorations. Perhaps you need to purchase holiday cards and postage. You want to consider the cost of food for the holidays. All these expenses need to be included in your budget. Be sure the budget total you decide to use is within your financial means so you can handle all the expenses without using a credit card.   If the items you think you need to purchase exceed your available cash total you need to go back and readjust your list.

people-moms-should-consider-adding-to-their-shopping-list-this-season3. Start your shopping early. It is helpful if you are able to purchase gifts during the year when they are on sale. When you shop early you can use layaway. With layaway you pay for your purchases a little at a time. When you redeem your merchandise from the layaway everything is already paid completely.

4. If you have a special talent for cooking, sewing, crafting, etc. you may want to consider some handmade gifts. These can help save the budget and are appreciated by many people. Another idea to save money is to find less expensive gifts at online auctions or at flea markets. This takes more effort then just going to the mall. For this type of purchase to be a success you need to know what item will truly please the recipient of the gift.

5. When you go shopping leave your credit cards at home so you are not tempted to use them. Do not purchase anything for yourself when you are holiday shopping for others.

6. If there is no way for you to make your holiday budget match the funds you have to spend you might want to consider a part time job to help cover holiday expenses.

You will find the holiday season much less stressful and much more enjoyable if you do not have the dreaded holiday debt worrying you.