Christmas is one of the most exciting season to celebrate every year. Most of us dreamed of having a debt free Christmas ever since but have never been able to fulfill it. In fact, holidays seem to get more expensive every year and it can really be hard to reach expectations. Sadly, the Christmas which we supposed to enjoy can become a source of stress especially if you are eating or drinking in a very expensive restaurant and all happiness you could ever think of can be bought on credit. There is nothing wrong in becoming generous at Christmas season like giving gifts to those we love and buying items endlessly. However, the joy of giving can lead to overwhelming debt that takes years to pay off.
Holiday season should not be financially and emotionally stressful. With a little precise planning, it doesn’t have to end with debt. Remember, if you choose to celebrate a debt free Christmas, it is always possible. Here are some tips below to make it happen.
How to Celebrate a Debt Free Christmas
- Create a Realistic Budget
Stick with the budget you created. If you don’t monitor and plan your spending can easily get you out of control. In this way, assess your finances. Create a list of budget such as the kind of gifts you will be giving, food and etc. Find out how much you are willing to spend for holidays. Make sure to strictly follow your lists and achieve a debt free Christmas.
- Save Early
One of the most important factor to creating a wise budget is planning ahead of time. The same thing with Christmas season. We all know it’s coming and saving early can avoid financial stress. As much as possible start the holiday fund 3 months earlier or more. Remember that waiting until December to create a budget for holiday may only end up to a huge credit bills comes January.
- Early Shopping
Early shopping especially off the season is a good time to shop. You may be able to find items at great prices. It is not also bad to shop during Christmas season however; many items will be charge higher because they are in demand. The benefit of early shopping allows you as well to unroll your finances for a long period of time so there is a less stress on your shopping experience. Moreover, if you start your shopping late, you are more likely to overspend and may not be able to look for great deals or discount.
- Create a List
Just like creating a budget plan, you must also make a list of the items to stay on track. If you already know what to purchase, you don’t need to look everywhere searching for items to items. Without a list on your hand, shoppers are more likely to make a decision instantly which causes them to overspend.
- Look for Sales
Planning ahead of time will give you a chance to look for discount rates and sales. By going to discount stores or warehouse is one option to find great deals on branded items.
- Consider to Shop Online
We all know that online shopping is very popular nowadays. It would be easier to look for items at affordable rates. In this way, you will also be able to read reviews online, compare the prices and check for product ratings without leaving from home. If possible, look for online sellers that offer free shopping, discount for first time customers and more. All you need is time and patience. Online has many things to offer at discount prices.
- Do not forget the use rewards points or coupons
Look for coupons online or search on the retailer website before buying anything. Check if you can find some online coupons for the items you want to buy. Also, you can use your rewards as a payment to save money. There are a lot of credit cards offer this option such as cash back, airline fares, discounts and etc. Gather all rewards each year and use them to pay for your Christmas shopping.
- Use Cash
If you save a little bit of cash each week previously, you will have something to use on Christmas without getting into debt. Paying cash will lessen the risk of debt.
- Use Your Creativity
The significance of a gift is not always about how much it costs. Listen to your family and loved ones about their hobbies and interests and look for cheap ideas to create unique gifts. Sometimes a worth $15 item is better than $100 especially if they don’t like it or will not be able to use it. Moreover, giving gifts using creativity is more personal and shows them that you make an effort and put some thought in selecting the best item for them.
- Create Homemade Gifts
Not everyone will value the effort and time that we render with homemade gifts. However, there are still people on our lists who will appreciate the thoughtfulness. This is a time to think out of the box by baking cookies and creating good crafts into it. DIY items can also add a personal touch while saving expenses.
Following the tips above can give you a debt free Christmas experience with happy memories rather than thinking about credit card debts. It doesn’t matter how much money you have to spend on Christmas; it’s about spreading the love of giving. Whether you have a lot or little, choose the enjoy this holiday season and celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.