A debt-free holiday is like a gift to yourself. There are many different steps that you can take to accomplish such a feat.
Make a budget
A lot of people go into debt unknowingly. They simply do not realize how much they have to spend or how their costs are adding up. Work through your financial budget and figure out the total amount that you can spend and still be able to pay everything off. You need to make the firm decision that no matter what you will not venture past this number.
To make this task easier, you should make a detailed budget. Include every holiday cost that you can think of, including little ones. Remember that even small costs can add up. For instance, if you have $25 to spend on a gift, that does not mean that you can spend the entire $25 on the actual item. You will need to account for tax, shipping to you if you bought it online, shipping to the person, wrapping, a card, etc. These costs can add up and need to be considered. Think of every holiday items you can imagine including gifts, shipping, cards, holiday photographs, parties, holiday donations, entertaining guests, the cost of travel, etc.
If you do not have enough money to cover all of your items, then you will need to cut back. You can see if you can lower the amount you spend on gifts. You may be able to delete some of them altogether. Try innovative techniques such as making a meaningful gift instead of buying an expensive one. You can approach your family members about doing a white elephant gift exchange. Shop during big sales like Black Friday and at less expensive places like Costco. Price compare and look for deals. If you need to cut something out such as a trip then do so.
If you truly do not want to cut back, then you can add money instead. You can try to get a seasonal job or do some freelance work to earn a little extra money for the season.
You also may want to give yourself a little room in the budget. Unexpected costs can come up, and you do not want the smallest problem to cause you to go into debt.
Once you have your budget you will need to stick to in order to get your debt-free holiday. If you go over in one area, then you will need to make sure to take from somewhere else instead. Keep on track of every single purchase so that you are always aware of what you have spent and what you can spend.
It is important to try to emerge from the holidays debt-free. The above tips can help you achieve the financial position that you want.