The holidays are considered to be a time of cheer, family get-togethers and getting into the spirit of the season, right? Well, your wallet might not always agree. In fact, some people go into major debt during the holidays and max out their credit cards way beyond what they expected.
However, if you pay attention and possibly follow a few of these tips, you might just make this a debt-free holiday season, according to the web site Wisebread.com.
1.Don’t Go Hog Wild On Gifts
Be sure you stick to buying only for those on your list, and don’t go hog-wild or overboard just to impress. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Also, try not to start your holiday shopping too early, even though retail stores want you to. Fight back by embracing the idea of enough, suggests the web site Wisebread.com.
Be sure to check out all of the sales in town and give yourself more time to compare prices, and space out purchases so you won’t have to rely on using credit cards.
3.Take a Breath
Holidays can be chaotic, right? When things are rushed, it’s easy to make a poor decision about what to buy and how much to actually spend. Take it slow; take a breath, slow things way down. Break up your shopping trips into a few smaller visits and avoid shopping on days when you have other things going on. Shopping online? Fill up your virtual cart, but don’t commit to buying anything until you’ve had time to think, and re-evaluate the items overnight, according to the web site Wisebread.com.
4.Avoid Silly Gimmicks
Be skeptical. Think twice about stores that are offering “the biggest sales of the year.” Again, shop around and check out who has the best deals out there. Don’t buy items at the first place you see as other stores might have the same thing, but for a lot less. It always pays to shop around!
5.Pay with Cash
If you are someone who spends more money when you use credit cards, don’t. Instead, pay with cash. This will keep your accounts in the black and make your first credit card bill of the New Year a lot less scary, according to the web site Wisebread.com.
6.Make Homemade Gifts
Are you a great baker? Talented artist? Perhaps make your gifts this season instead of going the commercial route. You could save a lot of dough, and your friends and family will be impressed by your craftiness and your homemade gifts.
7.Forget Greeting Cards
Save money by skipping those store-bought, expensive holiday cards and having to buy postage. Instead, send a group email or make a personal phone call filled with holiday cheer instead.
8.Share Thoughts, Experiences
If money’s tight, think along the lines of sharing holiday experiences. For example, organize a holiday potluck, host a movie night with friends, or coordinate a charity event where everyone contributes a few hours of their time as a group. After all, ‘Tis the season for more than just gift-giving, right?