Christmas is a time when you can show the people in your life how much you love and care about them.
Gift-giving is a great way to show people that you appreciate them. However, it is not a good idea to go into deep debt for Christmas.
There are a number of things that you can do to have a financially responsible yet still very Merry Christmas this year.
Set a Budget
One of the keys to minimizing holiday debt or avoiding it all together is to set a budget.
If you are a bargain hunter, then you can easily stretch your money. However, it is a good idea to know how much money you can spend before you go shopping.
Before you determine how much you can spend this holiday season, you will need to look at the budget that you already have. You will need to look for ways that you can cut down on your monthly spending.
For example, if you cancel the streaming service you never use and cut back on some bad habits like smoking, then you will have more to spend on the holidays. You can also save money by dining out less.
If you decide to borrow money or use credit to cover some of the cost of the holidays, it’s important you do so responsibly.
Carefully read over the terms and conditions of any fast online installment loans or credit cards you opt to use.
Do the math to map out your repayment plan to ensure the debt is paid off as fast as possible. If you see that you’ll still be paying off holiday debt in spring, consider reevaluating your budget.
Make a List
Before you start shopping, you will need to make a list. The list should have the names of everyone that you will be buying a gift for.
It should also have what you will be buying each person. Your list should include stockings stuffers.
Have a Potluck Meal
The food is something else that you can make Christmas expensive. That is why it is a good idea to have a potluck meal.
Everyone can bring a different dish. Not only will this help you save money on food but it can also take the stress out of cooking.
Use Cash and Debit
It is best to make your purchases with cash or debit. You are much more likely to overspend if you use your credit card or rely entirely on borrowed funds.
If you use cash, then you will have an easier time staying within your budget. You know that you have a finite amount of money.
If you do your shopping online, then you will need to get a prepaid debit card. You can activate a prepaid debit card for a small fee.
Ignore the Sales
It is a good idea to look for bargains when you are shopping. However, sales can tempt you to spend more than what you have. That is why it is important to stick to your list.
Find Inexpensive Ways to Have Fun
Entertainment is another thing that can put a hole in your budget. You can look for ways to entertain your family for free.
For example, you can tour the neighborhood and look at the Christmas lights, You can also make Christmas crafts with your family. Additionally, you can see a Christmas play or choir performance with your family.
Christmas does not have to cause you to go broke. You can save money by setting a budget and making a list.
You should also ignore the sales, use cash and find inexpensive ways to have fun with your family. Furthermore, you can have a potluck meal.