5 Ways to Have a Debt Free Holiday

The holidays are approaching fast. The last thing you want to do is to deal with what happened last year. When January rolled around, you couldn’t stomach the credit card debt. It may even take until April to pay it off!

To avoid that, try to focus on buying what you want and need for less. There are a few ways to enjoy the holiday and not run up your debts in the process. Could you make even one of these changes this year?

1. Make a Plan and Stick with It

Make a list of who you plan to buy for. Then, write down how much you are willing or wanting to spend on each individual. Then, gather ideas for their presents that fit within those budgets. It’s amazing how much more interesting gifts can be when you buy like this instead of asking, for the 20th time, “What do you want for Christmas?” Here are some tips:

- Instead of buying a gift for everyone, do a secret gift exchange instead. That way, instead of buying for ten, you are buying for just one person.

- Set limits to the gifts you are buying for everyone. Be open about what you are willing to spend and what you will not

- Don’t buy just to buy. Sometimes, it is best to make these gifts instead of buying them. Buy something that’s meaningful or something that people will hold onto for years to come.

2. Save and Save Now

Many people open Christmas accounts with local banks and credit unions and they begin filling them in January. In other words, depending on how much you want to tuck away for the holiday spending (for the shows, gifts, and everything else you have to do) it is a good idea to break it down on a per-week basis. Then, put that amount into a special Christmas account.

- Don’t wait until the last minute to shop either. If you do, you’ll pay far more for shipping and you’ll be forced to pay higher prices come the end of the season.

- If you save just $20 a week all year long, you’ll have $1040 to spend on holiday shopping. Increase this amount to what works for your budget.

- It’s easy to save. That $5 cup of coffee you drink each day will get you to $25 in just five days.

3. Get a Part Time Job

Sacrificing a few hours a week for a part time job is far smarter than trying to pay down your debt over a period of months later. Try to find part time work in the summer and fall for holiday savings so you can take the holidays themselves off. Even working just a few extra hours can make a big difference.

- Retailers are usually hiring at the beginning of November for holiday help. Get in early. That way, you will have more flexibility in the hours you work.

- Don’t forget easy jobs, too. Working at fast food for breakfast allows you to have most of the day to yourself, for example. Work nights delivering the paper instead.

- Ask your boss for overtime. You’ll only have to work a few extra hours a week to get the big savings you want.

4. Don’t Fall for the Deals

Though you can and should buy the deals and discounts for the items that you want to buy (remember that list from above?) you do not want to just buy because you’ve found a good deal. If Black Friday shopping is your thing, buy because the item is on your list, for example, instead of just buying because you can use some new sheets for your own bed or a new coffee pot for yourself.

- Some retailers raise prices just so they can look like they’ve slashed them in the holiday season.

- Be aware that many times, a lower quality of item will be offered for less than what the regular item is priced at. You may get a smaller quantity of some items or in other cases a lower quality item.

- Electronics are a big issue. Compare these closely. If name brands go on sale, you may be tempted to buy but another brand may be significantly less expensive.

5. Always Look for the Deal

There are many deals out there and you can definitely benefit from them. It’s a good idea to keep these deals at the back of your mind.

- Free shipping is by far the best deal you’ll find when buying online. Be sure that you buy by the beginning of December to ensure you can get holiday delivery free.

- Buy early in the season. Don’t wait for a deal. It will cost you.

- Sign up for email alerts for deals. You’ll get coupons and discounts this way.

It’s easy to save money on holiday shopping. However, no matter what deal you find or what offer is available, you’ll still overspend if you don’t keep things in check. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great holiday.

  • Guest

    Thank you so much for putting your effort on presenting your ideas and thought clearly. It so easy to understand. Thank you so much. Looking forward for your next post.

  • Free Paid Online Survey

    Thank you so much for putting your effort on presenting your ideas and thought clearly. It so easy to understand. Thank you so much. Looking forward for your next post.