ABC News reminded us that the majority of companies who consolidate debt say January and February are their busiest months. The main reason is holiday overspending. I guess all of you have noticed how many credit card offers you have gotten in the mail the last couple of months. Sadly, too many people take these tempting offers to get their limit; only to realize after the holidays, it is too much to budget. It’s like getting haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past.
Most people with credit card debt get by only paying the minimum payment each month. When they add on the extra debt, they find out way too late that it is a self-induced stress. Let’s look at how we can change our thought process about giving for Christmas. Here are several tips to think about before you start your giving:
Ideas for saving money during the holidays
- Start cutting back now on personal everyday expenses: Lattes, that new perfume, a sale item, going out to eat so many times, etc.
- Get to know your old friend “cash” again. It is a proven fact that if you only take out a small amount of cash and just use what you have in your wallet and not plastic, you will spend a lot less.
- Make a shopping list. Whether it is the grocery store, Christmas shopping, or basic needs- stick to it. Ever noticed how you spent $100 and did not get anything you will need to buy later? This causes stress.
- Every year set yourself a holiday budget (savings) and contribute to it every week/month from your paycheck. Don’t be too generous and do without things you need.
- Give homemade baked goods and handmade gifts from the heart. Everyone loves fresh baked goods, canned jellies and salsas, and handmade jewelry. These gifts are gifts of love from your own hands. It makes the receiver feel as if you personally thought of them and what they love.
- Use technology-track your spending. Do not go in debt.
Are you ready to shop on a budget, but still do not know what to give a man? Seems they are the hardest to buy for each holiday. MSN lifestyle gave us a barrage of simple holiday gift ideas men love for Christmas, and easily found. Glamour pitched in with 95 awesome gifts for loved ones under $25! Women, love gift cards but avoid being impersonal. If you give a woman cash, check, or a gift-card, be sure and add something you know she loves with it. This makes you a winner. She gets “cha-ching” for after Christmas sales, and also shows you took time to find something she loves.
Merry Christmas shopping and stay smart! The greatest gift is one you can give to yourself, “peace of mind.”
Photo courtesy of Bing.com