‘Tis the season of spending a jolly amount of money.
As we are every year, we’re all looking forward to the holiday season, but especially this year. And it can be merry until you welcome the new year with clumps of holiday debt.
Between gifts, decor, food and other holiday expenses, the amount you spend this December can result in a not-so-great start to 2021.
While you may think it’s okay to spend more during the holidays, let’s take a step back and think critically. We are living in times of recession. Even if you are currently earning the same paycheck, for some, job security has become a concern.
The less holiday debt you accumulate, the more financially secure your new year will be. With a bit of extra care and planning, you can still have a prosperous holiday season.
Without zapping the spirit of holidays, let’s take a look at the top five ways to steer clear of holiday debt.
Decide your shopping budget
Impulse shopping gets the best of us. How often does it happen that you may want to treat yourself to a cool jacket, but end up changing your entire winter wardrobe? Or the whole “one for you, one for me” trap that a lot of people fall into.
The best way to beat this is to create a strict shopping budget. Having one (if you follow it!) will ensure you don’t overspend.
Being conscious of your finances during the holidays is half the battle. So, before you browse through online stores, take some time to decide how much you want to spend and on which items. Keep a note of how much you should set aside from your paycheck for yourself.
Thrift holiday decorations
Your holidays won’t feel complete without cozy and cheerful home decor. That doesn’t mean you need to spend hundreds of dollars to get into the holiday spirit.
The solution? A little Christmas thrifting!
You’ll be amazed at what you can find at thrift stores for Christmas decor. You can find some really cool stuff to elevate the holiday vibe for a fraction of the price.
Also, just because the decorations aren’t from outlet stores doesn’t mean they aren’t fancy. In fact, thrift stores are full of antique items, glittering lights, Christmas wreaths and awesome ornaments.
With a few bucks, you can decorate your home in style and save hundreds of dollars, if not more, keeping holiday debt further away.
Skip over-the-top gifts
The holiday season is a wonderful time to celebrate, but you don’t always have to buy something. It’s okay to forgo some big-ticket gift items to stay away from holiday debt.
Make a list of everyone for who you need to buy gifts. Those close to you may actually love a personalized gift.
This holiday season is a good time to get creative. Something as simple as baking for your siblings or editing a family video for your grandparents would be more appreciated and can put a twinkle in their eyes. You can handcraft something personal too. YouTube and Pinterest are full of DIY tutorials.
But if you do have to pay for any gifts, try paying with reward points, coupons, or gift cards, wherever possible.
Avoid racking up your credit card
Put your credit card away – freeze it in the ice tray, if necessary.
A lot of people have credit card debt from last holiday season. You don’t want to be one of them. No one likes credit card debt. But with holiday sales and discounts all around, it’s tempting not to use them.
Even the retail credit card that you want to shop with! These credit cards may offer you discounts on certain products but at the cost of maxing your cards out. Next thing you know, your new year may not look as prosperous as it should be.
Use cash when buying anything so that you don’t have to borrow any money you don’t own.
Earn extra cash to cover holiday expenses
The holiday season is a good time to make some extra bucks.
Pick up a side hustle. Put a hobby to good use – like sewing sweaters, walking your neighbour’s dog or teaching piano online.
If you wish to make some quick cash, you can sell some unwanted items in your home on Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace. Earning extra cash allows you to go all out and enjoy while not accumulating any holiday debt.
It’s okay to say ‘no’
We often wish to create the perfect holiday experience on all fronts, which definitely wouldn’t involve racking up debt.
You don’t need to spend a ton of money to create memories with your loved ones. It’s ok to say no to things that may cost you extra money this season.
Prioritize what’s important and make a plan to enjoy the holidays the best way you can.
You got this!
For more tips on staying away from holiday debt this season, check out some of our other blog posts here. Or, give us a call at Centum Home Lenders. You can reach us at 506-854-6847 or get in touch with us here!