Are the coming holidays stressing you out? It can be a tough time for many, especially if you’re concerned about money. Anyone who has faced a daunting credit card bill come January knows that it isn’t always easy to pay back holiday debt. If your balances are already high, the holidays can make a bad situation much worse. The best way to deal with holiday debt is to avoid it in the first place.
Debt Help When Budgeting Isn’t Enough
For some, trimming holiday spending is only the tip of the iceberg. When you’re struggling to keep up with bills or borrowing to meet your needs at the end of the month, it may be time to ask: what is personal bankruptcy? Bankruptcy is a process in which you are discharged from your debts after certain non-exempt assets have been liquidated and the proceeds paid to your creditors.
Personal bankruptcy can be a sensible move when you’re deeply in debt. However, if you can avoid it by budgeting wisely, that may be a preferable path. With that in mind, here are some holiday spending tips to keep things on budget.
Tips for Budgeting Your Holidays
#1 Set Your Budget
Often people wind up overspending because they don’t go in with a plan. They buy what they think they need and deal with the consequences later. They’re not adding it up as they go.
Avoid nasty surprises on your credit card and decide how much you want to spend on the holidays this year. More accurately, decide how much you can afford to spend and plan from there. Consider all the expenses: gifts, food, treats, decorations, and travel (in a normal year, at least).
#2 Keep Track
If you’re going to stick to your budget, you’re going to have to keep track of your spending. Keep an ongoing document of your purchases and compare it to the amount you’ve set aside to spend.
#3 Shop Online
Shopping online has two main advantages:
- It’s easier to plan out your entire gift-buying plan when you do all the research online. With your budget open on your computer, you can make sure everything fits neatly without going overboard.
- You save on expenses like gas, parking, and childcare, which can help balance the cost of shipping, though you can also often find free shipping deals.
#4 Resist the Impulse to Buy More
Impulse buys are budget-breakers. Once you buy someone a gift, cross them off your list and be done with it, no matter how perfect that last-minute purchase would be. If you are shopping in-store, buy what you came for and leave.
#5 Agree to Scale Down
Gift buying can be anxiety-inducing. Everyone worries about being gifted something expensive and their own gift not living up to it, or worst of all, not having gotten them anything. When it comes to big families, talk about scaling down gift-giving so that you can both avoid making a faux-pas and spare your credit card.
You don’t have to break the bank this holiday. Make a budget and be careful about your spending.