It’s that time of the year again when everything seems merry and bright. The holiday season definitely brings a lot of cheer but sometimes, people can get too overwhelmed with all the festivities and gift-giving that they end up with a long list of credit card bills and holiday debts before the year ends.
According to a survey conducted by MagnifyMoney, the amount of added debt from holiday expenses reaches up to $986 on an average.
If you don’t want to start 2017 with overflowing bills, here are 5 few fool-proof ways to enjoy the holidays without getting into debt this December.
1. Set a holiday budget and stick to it.
Having a clear budget is the key to avoid overspending. Sit down, study your bank account, assess your income and regular expenses and plan out how much you can spend for the holidays. You’ll probably get it from your extra savings or from a seasonal job – whatever that is, create a budget and stick to it.
2. Shop ahead of time.
By now, you’ve probably scored some good deals from Black Friday and Cyber Monday and I hope that included your gift-shopping for friends and family as well. If you haven’t done any shopping yet, don’t worry, there are still a bunch of pre-holiday sales to look forward too. Take advantage of these to save money instead of doing last-minute shopping that can be stressful and costly.
3. Don’t buy anything you can’t afford.
For some, this is hard to understand and it’s always the main culprit of accumulating holiday debts. You don’t need a new gadget… you can say no to your kids who are asking for expensive toys… you can skip traveling this year… you don’t have to throw a fancy holiday party. Bottom line here is that don’t be afraid to say no (to yourself and others) when you know for a fact that your budget doesn’t allow it.
4. Try to DIY as much as you can.
Gifts and decorations can be expensive but with creativity and imagination, you can definitely save a lot of money. If you have old Christmas decorations from the previous years, just reuse and upcycle them instead of buying new stuff. As for gifts, there are tons of DIY gift ideas that you can find online. Remember, it’s not the price that matters, it’s the effort and thought that you put into the gift that makes it special for the recipient.
5. Dig up unused gift cards or use coupons when shopping.
You probably have a few forgotten and unused gift cards on your stash or if you have time, check out coupons online or in magazines to save more money on your holiday shopping.
Always keep in mind that the holiday season should bring smiles, fun and happiness and not stress.