game plan because Holiday Debt is real. It hits too many of us and even
though we are in an economic crisis you may find yourself still
wallowing in one yet again! We try and tell ourselves to plan, prepare,
save and even cut back on our upcoming shopping for the holidays, but that’s not always easy when you get caught up into the season.
I’ve decided to share some saving and smart tips for keeping ourselves OUT of this vicious cycle.
1. Set spending limits.
easy enough and it is if you actually write down or compile some sort
of list. Taking it along with you is also key so having it on a virtual
notebook on your phone or technology device is even better so you have
it handy when you are out.
2. Shop online.
Shopping online has several benefits and I’ve listed a few.
a. Allows you to comparison shop since you can check out sales from numerous stores right from the comfort of your home.
b. Many retailers have special sales just for online shopping that are sometimes much better than in the stores.
c. Free shipping is becoming a staple feature during the holiday
shopping. Lots of stores are also having free shipping to a local store
and all you have to do is pick it up.
3. Set aside money for gifts.
know, I know. It’s easier than it sounds but no one says you have to
start at the beginning of the year and no one says you have to save up
the entirety of what you plan on spending. You can start in mid summer,
or even after the kids go back to school. You can also save up just
what you want to spend on Black Friday. It’s totally up to you, your
budget, and your wallet.
4. Don’t go above 30% of credit card balance.
It’s just smart to keep those credit card balances low.
debt you carry on a credit card in proportion to the balance is called a
“utilization rate,” and credit bureaus respond more favorably to people
with low utilization rates. The lower the utilization rate, the better
You must keep your credit card balance
below 30 percent month-round. Maintaining a higher balance, but paying
the bill below 30 percent at month’s end is not a sufficient strategy.
Credit card companies want to know that you consistently live within
your means, so you must always shoot for the 30 percent target.” http://www.720creditscore.com/
5. Be creative with your gifts and give services.
not goofy stuff that you wouldn’t want, but sometimes a service is a
better gift. Learn who you are shopping for and figure out if providing
a service for them wouldn’t be the better idea. If the person has kids
give them a few free days of babysitting. Wash their car a few times
or even housecleaning. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s definitely
something to consider.
6. Donate to their favorite charity in their name.
not everybody would want this but if you know that this person donates
regularly or feels strongly about a particular charity donate in their
name and see them light up.
7. Secret Santa
just do it at work? It’s a cheaper way to give gifts and give people
what they actually want. If you are spending a nice amount on just ONE
gift only, you are saving by not getting everyone a gift. This works
well with big families with tons of kids. Not immediate family but
extended family can enjoy this. Nothing worse then seeing one rich
family member get EVERYONE something when most can’t afford to do this.
This way no one is embarrassed and everyone gets something.
are just a few practical ideas for keeping you out of Holiday debt. I
plan on using them as well and hope it helps. Let’s bring in the New
Year with happiness and being Holiday debt-free!
Enjoy your upcoming holidays Naturals,