Christmas time is when you purchase all sorts of gifts for those close to you. You decorate the house until it looks like an airport runway and eat a feast every chance you get. Then there are all the parties that “must” attend and throw. All of these things combine to leave you in debt once the holiday has passed. There are some ways to avoid debt as a result of Christmas.
No Credit Cards
Credit cards are convenient but they can cause you to pay for the holidays long after they’ve passed. Put them away and you’ll find yourself free from interest charges. The amount you save in those additional fees is likely to be enough to pay for you Christmas decorations and the utility bill that goes with them.
Lists and Budgets
Lists are great! You can make a list of the people that you have to purchase gifts for, the parties you throw and everything else associated with Christmas. When you have a list of the people you’re buying presents for and inviting to parties you’ll be able to include a budget for these things. You can even budget your Christmas dinner with lists.
All of the people on your gift giving list should have a dollar amount attached to them. This will prevent you from going over the amount of money you actually have to spend. When you do your monthly budgeting you can include a small amount to set aside for the holiday season.
There is nothing that says Christmas gifts all have to be bought in late November and early December. You can purchase gifts for those on your list all year long. When an item that you want to give goes on sale or better yet winds up on the clearance rack you can snap it up and tuck it into a closet. Things such as the wrapping paper for the gifts can be bought on sale after Christmas for the next season. You can use the gift bags that you get things in and recycle them to put those things in that you aren’t comfortable wrapping. If you can’t manage to get everything early and there are somethings you don’t find until a few weeks before the holiday put them on layaway. It’s cheaper than credit cards and the gifts will be paid for when you them out of layaway.
You can stretch the budget and avoid debt by making some gifts yourself. When you make gifts by hand you can make more than if you bought them and give a number of people variations on the same gift. The gifts you make you can be personalized to the people that you’re going to give them to in order to make your day easier.
There is no reason to go into debt for Christmas. Paying attention to what you’re doing, shopping early and making a few things yourself will keep you well within the budget that you have set.