Don’t Go Bankrupt This Holiday Season: Have a Solid Plan


Ah, the holiday debt hangover. If you’re anything like the average person, you spend around $1,000 on holiday festivities each and every year – $2,000 if you travel for the holidays! This money has to come from somewhere, and for all too many people, it comes in the form of credit cards and other debts. When you wake up January 1st with a raging headache, keep in mind that it might not just be the champagne. It could also be the debt. This year, resolve to stay within your finances by creating a financial plan you can stick with. Here are a few tips to get you on your merry way:

1. May your cookies be soft and your spending limit be hard. The first step to coming up with a solid financial plan this holiday season is to come up with your high spending limit. This is the absolute most you can afford to spend on the holidays without going into debt. By giving yourself an absolute “point of no return”, you’ll be better able to work within your limits.

Once you’ve decided how much you have to spend, figure out what matters most to you this holiday season. Is it throwing a huge party? Giving lots of gifts? Whatever you decide on is where the bulk of your money should go, even if it means you have to cut back in other areas. Maybe you’d rather travel this year instead of buying lots of gifts. As long as you stay below your spending limit, you’re free to do whatever you want!

2. Check your long list at the door. If you’re buying presents for your cat groomer and your next door neighbor’s cousins, you’re probably taking it a bit too far. Instead of purchasing gifts for everyone you know on a whim, sit down and make a list. Work with your budget to determine what, if anything, you’ll get for your loved ones. Remember, the holidays aren’t just about presents. Consider alternatives to traditional gift-giving. A Secret Santa-style gift swap or charity drive can be just as fulfilling without all the extra expenditure.

When you do decide to give a gift, make it intentional. Nobody needs another desk decoration or random piece of plastic. Give gifts that people will truly care about. If they won’t remember it this time next year, then skip it. Instead, write a heartfelt note and give it along with a batch of cookies. Truly meaningful gifts are the ones that will matter most to the recipient. Instead of dumping your money into lame stock presents, save it to spend on what truly matters.

3. Trim your trimmings. To save money around the holidays, cut back on all the extra expenses. Instead of purchasing new ornaments and tinsel, create your own decorations. Go old-fashioned with salt dough and paper chains or craft a modern-day wreath with yarn or ribbons. You can even turn your frugal fun into a holiday gathering to get even more bang for your buck. Invite friends and family over to craft creative ornaments with you. Display the results on your tree. You’ll have beautiful holiday decor and spend far less on a party!

Instead of throwing a million parties, get together with your friends or family and decide to host a party together. Choose one person to be the host – that person doesn’t have to contribute food or drinks. Everyone else brings a dish or a drink to share. Why should you all spend money hosting individual parties when you could get together and have one amazing gathering? Plus, you can use that spare time to take care of other holiday-related tasks. It’s like giving yourself the gift of time!

4. Curb those holiday impulses. Impulse purchases are the bane of any careful budget master. This holiday season, try to cut back on your impulse buys. There are a few strategies you can use. Try picking up the item and putting it in your cart. Rather than purchasing it right away, give yourself half an hour to think about it while you complete your shopping. If you still want it, get it. Another tactic is to figure out how close you are to your hard spending limit. Thinking about your limit can help you decide if it’s truly worth it.

This year, choose to spend your money according to plan. You’ll feel much better after the wrapping paper comes off. A debt-free holiday is a happy holiday. It’s totally within your reach. Just create your holiday spending plan and stick to it!

2 Responses to Don’t Go Bankrupt This Holiday Season: Have a Solid Plan

  1. Island Loans says:

    Only spend on a credt card if you know you can pay it all off by the due date on the bill. Use the card to your advantage to collect vouhers or points that are on offer and they you will have actually beaten them. I have four credit cards on the go, I never make a late payment and get vouchers, points etc which I use to make purchases in the shop or for days or meals out with the family. Use wisely and you can beat the finance companies that run them.

  2. bankruptcy advice says:

    I’m not sure where you are getting your info, however good topic. I must spend some time learning more or figuring out more. Thank you for excellent information I used to be looking for this info for my mission.

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