Have a 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.
Sounds 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 tablet or on your phone 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
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.
I 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. 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.
“The 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 your score.
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
No, 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
Now 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
Why 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
These are just a few practical ideas for keeping you
out of Holiday debt that I like to share every year on the blog. 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 holidays Naturals,
Great advice. Our motto is, if we don't have cash, we don't buy. We haven't had any credit cards or debt in 14 years.
Oh wow…you are my hero. I want to get where you are. Me and hubby used to be like that but we are working our way back to that way of living. Thanks for sharing.
As my family grew, we just did white elephant instead of gifts for everyone (except the kids). Too many people to buy for! I'm no Scrooge, but I don't like being forced to buy gifts for people… heh heh
These are such great tips! I set myself a Christmas budget and so far have stuck to it. I've also been making some fun homemade gifts for everyone!
I agree Krystal. Still have to live after the holidays.
Good for you and your wallet. Homemade gifts are great too. Thanks for sharing.
My ex's family use to do Secret Santa for the holidays; it's definitely budget friendly. 🙂
Man. I need to get on your level.
And i'm loving the advice on this post
Yes it is. My sister's husband has a large family and they do this as well. It makes sense and keeps money in the pocket.