The time is here, where the hustle and bustle of the holiday season are in full force.
I know for myself, I have already spent close to $500 on Christmas shopping for the family.
If I am not careful, my budget will be blown before I can say Ho Ho Ho.
On top of all the crazy shopping for presents, traveling for vacation is another top priority for this holiday season.
It is both exciting and fun.
However, if you are going into further debt because of the holiday season fun, you may end up taking more than three months to pay it all back.
That is if you can afford to pay it back.
Otherwise, you may end up having to find more drastic measures to get out of debt from this year’s Holiday season.
The average debt of Americans increases by more than $1,000 during the holidays and the additional holiday debts escalate at 5%.
However, there is hope!
Before you get frustrated at the fast-paced spending that can quickly dig a debt hole that will take months to get out of it.
Check out these ten ways to minimize going into holiday debt.
Budgeting does not require you to be a financial wizard.
By maintaining your finance level, you can plan the amount you want to spend on the vacation, including tickets, accommodation, sightseeing, shopping, and other incidental expenses in case you plan to travel during holidays.
After adding some buffer towards unforeseen expenses, freeze the total budget for your vacation.
No matter, how much you estimate to spend according to your budget.
A note to remember…you should have an emergency savings plan just in case.
During the holiday season, if you spend without any restraint, the eggnog hangover of your debt will be lingering for a longer time.
It is essential to exercise financial discipline to comply with budget allocation for each segment of expenses.
You can, however, overspend on some items but only if you can save on other items.
Tip – For next year, make sure you factor in your holiday budget by saving a little bit each month.
This will allow you to enjoy the holiday spending and not worry about going into further debt.
Plan for Repayment Strategy
Whether you plan a realistic budget or over-spend the budget for your gift giving and festivities…you should have a strategic plan to repay any debt you may have gotten yourself into.
This may require you to look into other get out of debt strategies if you are in too deep.
Say No to Impulse Shopping
If you are serious about avoiding holiday debt, there are a couple of tricks you can use.
When you walk into a mall with your shopping nice list, avoid impulse shopping.
Buy what is absolutely necessary for the people on your list.
Slow down the shopping pace and have patience.
It is ok to find out a place where the items are cheaper than the nearest mall and make your purchase there.
Keep in mind that impulse shopping is a recipe for a debt disaster.
Low-Interest Credit Card or Prepaid Card
If you are not a budget person and are afraid you will overspend, then it is wise to avoid using the credit card.
Alternatively, if you have multiple credit cards, take only one with the smallest interest rate while shopping.
It is also a good idea to preload a credit card with savings and uses this preloaded card while on holiday shopping or on vacation.
If the balance is depleted, then you are forced to postpone the purchase and do not run the risk of going overboard in debt.
Novel Gifting Practices
Exchanging gifts is no doubt a big tradition to during the holidays to show your gratitude and best wishes.
However, gifts do not have to be expensive.
You can choose to say no to the expense gives and use your creativity to make gifts with some innovative ideas at home.
You can explore present ideas on Pinterest or including family members.
This can create a long lasting memory and most of the time can mean more the receiver than just buying a quick item like a gift card.
Dig Through Your Storage
There have been many times where I just have purchased a movie, trinket or another fun item that I never opened up and just left it sitting on my shelf or garage.
By looking through the items you already have, you may be able to find some great gifts that would make a friend or family member really happy and it won’t cost you anything out of your holiday spending.
Available Cash Backs and Rewards
A little prudence in keeping track of upcoming sales from your preferred retailers could add more cash back in your wallet.
You can subscribe for offers at your favorite stores and be notified through your email.
Many stores have cash back rewards, big discounts and more, here are a few:
Some credit cards even offer more ash back rewards during the holiday season which you can take advantage of but make sure you are not overspending.
Don’t Use the Deferred Payment Plans
Credit card companies and lenders have a strategy to lure people to spend more money.
The marketing strategy offers a deferred plan, no down payment, buy now pay later, etc.
The reality is on a majority of such offers, the total cost might be more than what you pay cash.
If you are tempted with such offers, go through the terms and conditions meticulously before signing on the dotted line.
Of course, if the purchase is inevitable, it is a different ball game altogether.
Otherwise, do not fall for the staggered payment, freebies, or deferred payment offers.
According to Magnify Money, “In any holiday season, the credit cards rule the roost with a whopping 60% used towards holiday expenses.
Further, the payday loans also have seen a jump from 6-7% during the year 2016 compared to the year preceding.
There are holiday destinations with off-season discounts reducing your expenses considerably.
If the off-season vacation is suitable, there is no better option than to plan accordingly.
Alternatively, if you book the vacation itinerary well in advance, the ticket fare and accommodation or the entire package is at a very reasonable price.
Here are some of the main ways that you can minimize going into holiday debt.
During this time of year, it can be hard to say no to spending so much for your loved ones.
You may even have to use your creativity and your plan of action to make sure you aren’t going into debt.
However, remember it is the thought that counts and even something small and homemade can be just the thing your recipient needs to cheer them up this year.
Leave us a comment with other ways you may have to minimize going into holiday debt.
Schedule a free consultation today for a risk-free debt assessment. The only thing you have to lose is your debt.