How To Have A Debt Free Holiday
The holidays and debt don't have to come hand in hand every year. Here's how you can have a great holiday without drowning in debt.
Leave The Credit Cards At Home
Charging gifts can be a slippery slope toward debt. Just paying it off later will only cost you more in the long run in interest so those deals you snagged end up being meaningless. Charging purchases also give you more freedom to go over budget or purchase items you did not include on your list.
Figure out how much you will need for your shopping trip and take that out in cash so you cannot overspend. While you can carry the credit card just in case, sticking to cash only transactions will reel in your spending naturally since it is a lot harder to part with physical money.
Make A List
Santa is definitely on to something. List out those you are purchasing for and what you will be buying beforehand then scour the ads and sales to find the best price.
If you set limits and expectations for yourself you are more likely to stick to them. If you have trouble staying on track challenge yourself this year!
You don't have to spend a lot for every single person in your life. For those you interact with least get a little crafty and make a gift. Just a simple search on Pinterest will give you a million ideas. Grab a bunch of mugs from the dollar store and paint and decorate them and fill them with candy, coffee and other fun but inexpensive items - this will cost only a fraction of the cost of a pre-made mug gift set.
You don't have to be Martha Stewart to make something nice and thoughtful that isn't expensive. When you settle on what you will be creating hit the dollar store first! You will be surprised how far only a few dollars will get you.
Start Saving Earlier
It's easier said than done but saving a little bit before November is always a great idea. Start squirreling away some money starting in August so you will have a good chunk left aside by the time December rolls around. The holidays are not a good enough excuse for tapping into your emergency fund or pushing yourself farther into debt.
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