Kicking holiday debt to the curb

Okay you guys and gals. I know that the holidays just ended, but listen. They’re the same date every year It is never a surprise so there’s no excuse for going into debt because of holiday spending If you know you’ll be spending more during the holidays plans for the spending you’re going to do Start thinking about your spending and how much you want to save now So you don’t start off the new year up to your ears in debt from the holidays Sure budgeting is not super exciting But you know what is super exciting not being in debt, so here are some tips for holiday budgeting First, know your limits. Talk with your friends and family about spending limits Part of why we overspend is because we feel that showing how much we care is tied to how much we spend on someone. Setting limits that work for everyone’s money situation will help curb this habit and encourage everyone to think more about meaningful ways to show how important friends and family are. Limit yourself to spending only what can safely come out of your bank account –
that is, money that is not going to pay your bills. Don’t reach for the credit card to top-up: set realistic limits for yourself! Channel your inner Santa: Make a list and budget for each person you’re giving or making a gift for. Don’t get out of control and feel like you have to buy gifts for everyone. There are lots of ways to show friends some love over the holidays. Bake some cookies and give those as a gift. Spread the cheer without spreading yourself too thin. Finding gifts throughout the year and squirreling them away means you don’t have to fight the masses at the mall, and you won’t bust your bank account all in one go. Not only will it help to spread the spending out, it’ll help you curb overspending and that last minute panic spending. You’re much more likely to go over budget if you’re feeling rushed or under pressure. You’re less likely to think about the purchase and less able to resist impulse purchases. Spot the deals throughout the year and nab the gifts when they’re on sale. Think of how calm your holidays will be when you’ve got all your shopping done. You can sit making cocoa instead of trudging through the snow to the mall. Oh – and remember that list you made? Put the gifts on the list throughout the year, so you don’t forget who and what you’ve already shopped for. Don’t budget just for the gifts. Think of the other things you’ve got a factor in that start to add up: gift wrap, gas to travel to family, more groceries, snacks or beverages if you’re entertaining, office parties, decorations, a Christmas tree, postage, shipping for items you’re sending to far away friends and family. So if you didn’t start saving early this year, here’s your new year’s resolution: no credit card hangovers. Don’t go into debt because of holiday spending next year Figure out how much you spend on the holidays. Divide that number by 48 so if you start saving in January that will take you to the end of November. Put that money automatically into a savings account every week. Presto! Next year’s holiday spending money. For example, starting at the beginning of year, putting $20 a week into a savings account will give you almost $1000 by the end of November. If you do make gift purchases through the year for holiday gifts, make sure to only spend out of this savings account. So there! Here’s hoping these tips will help you kick Christmas debt to the curb and start the new year off on the right foot: credit card hangover free.

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