After weighing your options, you’re finally tackling your debt for good! Enrolling in a debt resolution program is something to be proud of. However, as the holidays approach, you may be worried about how you’ll handle holiday spending without derailing your progress. Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with tips to manage your holiday spending while you tackle your debt.
Don’t Use Credit or Pay Later Options
When you are used to using credit to cover holiday spending, it can be hard to break the habit. But tackling debt means changing up the status quo.
When you are working toward settling and resolving your debt, it’s important not to take on any new debt! That includes using the popular “buy now, pay later” options. If you can’t pay out of pocket for something, then chances are it’s not in the budget.
Luckily there are lots of ways to have a great holiday while sticking to a budget.
The bottom line: Taking on new debt while you are in a debt resolution program could jeopardize your progress.
Make a Budget and Prioritize Your Spending!
Before you do any holiday spending, look at your budget and find out how much you afford. By prioritizing your spending, you can put your hard-earned money toward the things that matter to you most.
Priorities will be different for everyone, so don’t feel pressure to spend money on things just because other people are doing it.
For example, if giving gifts is important to you, you can make more room in your budget by saving money on other expenses. On the other hand, if you prefer holiday experiences to gifts, put your money toward traveling to visit family and friends and keep the gifts to a minimum.
To save money, you can:
- Reuse old decorations and gently used gift wrap
- Send digital Christmas cards instead of paper ones
- Spend less on holiday dinners and parties
- DIY gifts and decorations
The bottom line: If that means a lot to you, make it a priority for your holiday spending budget and forgo or scale back on the things that aren’t as important to you.
Keep Your Gift List Small
This year, consider keeping your gift list small. You don’t have to have gifts for everyone you plan to see or be around this holiday season.
You probably can skip buying gifts for acquaintances, co-workers and neighbors and focus on doing as much as you can for your closest friends and family.
By keeping your shopping list small, you can focus your efforts and resources and make the gifts you do buy even more meaningful.
The bottom line: While gift-giving is a nice gesture, most people don’t expect gifts and this is an effective way to cut back on holiday spending.
Stick to a List
Writing out a shopping list can help you plan your spending to make sure you aren’t going over budget. If you shop without a list, it can be harder to keep track of what you are buying, what you’ve already purchased, and who you are buying for!
If you do your shopping with a partner, you can keep track of what has already been purchased to avoid duplicates. If you are a parent to more than one child, you may already do this to make sure that you are buying an even number of gifts for each of your children.
The bottom line: Lists help put your buying into perspective and can help you keep track of spending, so you don’t go overboard.
Shopping in stores and in groups makes it harder to resist impulse buys. Staying out of the store can reduce temptation and help you stick to your list and your budget.
If you do go into a store to shop, leave the debit and credit cards at home and take cash, so you have to stick to your spending limit.
It’s also more efficient to compare prices online, and you can save time going store to store to find the best deals.
The bottom line: Online shopping can be cheaper and more convenient than going to a store. It could also help you stop impulse or unplanned buying.
Tackling Debt During The Holidays is Possible!
The holiday season is a time for joy, giving, and receiving. But for some of us, it’s also a time of stress – especially when it comes to our finances. If you’re struggling with debt during the holidays, know that you’re not alone. And there are options available to help you get through this tough time. Choose the one that makes the most sense for your situation, and give yourself the gift of financial peace this holiday season.
Talk to a Certified Debt Specialist to make sure you are on the right track with your debt.