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6 Tips For A Debt Free Christmas

I wrote this post finally yr earlier Christmas, but since it is probably something on a lot of people’sec minds I decided to repost it. Enjoy!

1. Start Saving Early

Duh. That is SO common-sense. Well, it is. But for some reason, I used to be surprised year after year at how hard Christmas hit my wallet. We know its coming. It is the same day every year. We can’t run from it, so we might as well save up for it. Sometimes these simple things take a while to sink into my skull, but I finally figured out that by saving up for it, I was a lot more likely to stay out of debt. Often times it is the simple things that have the biggest positive impacts on our finances. It is mid-November. Let’s start saving.


ii. Create a budget for how much you lot volition come about

Why after every Christmas are most people looking at huge credit card bills wondering, “Where did all that money go?” It is no different than any other area of our lives, if we don’t have a leash on it – it will be out of our control. Think of your money like your neighbor’s dog – Oh yeah, your neighbor thinks he has his dog under control. But every time he has the dog in the front yard it runs over and jumps on you. He thinks he has control of the dog, but I am sure if he had a leash on the beast, he wouldn’t let it jump on you when you are on your way to work. Of course you probably are not going to tell him that his dog is terribly behaved, just like my checkbook isn’t going to tell me that I have no control over my money. In order to have control you have to monitor it (dog or money) or have a system in place (put up a fence or brand a budget) that testament practise it for you lot.

My wife and I started budgeting for giving a couple years ago, after we realized how out of hand our Christmas spending was getting. We just sat down and made a list of everyone we were going to buy a gift for that year. We wrote down (actually we used an Excel budgeting spreadsheet) how much we were going to pass on each soul too totaled it upwards. We took this full figure as well every bit worked backwards from Christmas to sentiment how much we would cause got to salvage each calendar week inward country to agree plenty. This helped us instruct motivated to start saving early.

iii. Stick to your budget

After all, that is why you created it in the first place – right? If you decided to spend $20 on Billy Ray, then you have to be vigilant not to buy him that $50 toaster that is just glistening in the florescent light of the department store. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing more fun than giving great presents, but you have to be honest with yourself and others about what you can spend. Trying to spend $100 on each person’s gift when you only have $10, isn’t being truthful and it is going to hurt you more than anyone else. This is the whole “keeping-upwardly-alongside-the-Joneses” illness that is rampant these days. I think most people you lot are buying gifts for would want you to give from your middle, rather than nether compulsion to go yesteryear huge amounts of money that you practise non have.

4. Get Creative

When you are strapped for cash you have to use creativity to get the upper hand. A creative gift can often beat out the most expensive gift. I am not talking about, “it’s the thought that counts, dear.” I am talking about meeting a unique need or desire for that person. To give the best gifts you lot need to know around the recipient. Listen to what they utter proficient-near. Listen for clues every fighting to what they are interested inwards. It likely isn’t a tie or a icon demonstrate frame. Shop accordingly.

v. Shop Online

A lot of brick-and-mortar stores can’t compete with the prices of the online stores even with the additional shipping costs. If you decide to do a bunch of shopping online this year, Amazon.com has a deal where you can ship as much as you want for a year for $79. And they are not just a bookstore anymore, Amazon has everything from electronics to candles and you can even buy an engagement weep upwards from them. You also should look at Ebates – they pay yous for shopping via their website.

half dozen. Start Shopping Early

I love the convenience of online shopping, but I also love going to the malls inward the middle of the Christmas flavour. Granted, the parking commonly isn’t fun, but I love Christmas (inquire my husband every bit good she testament tell y'all how annoying I am – i.e. Christmas music starts Nov 1st) likewise it simply doesn’t seem similar Christmas to me without spending some quaternary dimension inwards the malls during the season. Since section stores start breaking out the Christmas decorations after the 4th of July sale (slight exaggeration, but non much), you concur enough of fourth dimension to acquire started early every bit well every bit sweat got the “spirit of Christmas.”

The telephone substitution is to employment early shopping to your vantage. Having your budget inward heed, it gives you a lot to a greater extent than quaternary dimension to think virtually WHAT to purchase everyone also gives y'all to a greater extent than opportunities to grab things on sale.

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