Giving is nice.
Getting the bill come January?
Not so much.
So, here are 4 tips to help you stay out of debt this holiday season:
- Set spending limits—Look at your monthly budget and figure out how much you can realistically afford to set aside towards holiday gift giving, without going into debt.
- Make a list—Follow Santa’s example. Make a list of all the people you need or want to buy gifts for, including small gifts for babysitters, teachers, etc. Don’t forget what you’ll spend on Christmas cards, postage, holiday parties, decorations, holiday entertainment, etc.
- Set a limit—Decide how much you will spend on each person on your gift list, then add everything up and make sure it doesn’t exceed your overall spending limit. Try to allow a cushion for unexpected items or price fluctuations.
- Decide where to shop—As important as deciding what you’re going to buy is deciding where you’re going to buy it. If you don’t wait until the last-minute, you’ll have time to comparison shop. As Christmas approaches, some items are marked down as much as 40% but selections are limited. You’ll need to decide whether price or selection is more important to you (and time your shopping accordingly).
Remember, if you’re going into this holiday season with existing debt, it may not be in your best interest to add to the tab. Instead, think of creative ways to honor and enjoy the special people you hold dear.
If you want to go over your spending plan — or perhaps put yourself on a debt diet for the New Year — we’re here.– Submitted by your friends at the LSS Center for Financial Resources. 888-258-2227 or cfr@LssSD.org