7 Secrets to a Debt Free Christmas
It is time to start thinking about Christmas shopping, which may also have you seeing dollar signs. Are you concerned about going into debt this holiday season? Many consumers are. But the good news is, with a little planning you can easily get the items you need without going into debt. If you want to enjoy a debt free holiday, take a peek below at 7 secrets to a debt free Christmas so you can get the most holiday bang for your buck and avoid hauling out the credit card!
1. Start savings envelopes now
Take several envelopes and then label them with the names or categories of people you need to buy for. Categories might be family, friends, co-workers. Or as mentioned, you can give the envelopes specific names. Each week, add a few dollars to each envelope. By the time you need to start shopping, you will have a nice chunk of cash to work with.
2. Pay cash. Period.
It is tempting to use a credit card during the holiday season, but avoid it. Freeze your card if you have to or have it temporarily deactivated. Anytime you are tempted to use it, just ask yourself if you want to start the New Year in debt. Instead, set aside cash each week (you can use the envelope system mentioned above) so you can pay for items with cash instead of credit.
3. Make gifts more about the thought
You can show family and friends how much you love and cherish them without going broke. Make gifts more about thought and purpose than pizzazz. Get to know the needs of your recipients so you can gift them something they can use that is still in your budget.
Also, another trap that a lot of us fall into is over buying or buying gifts for too many people. Think through your list and who is really important, then consider doing baked goods for other families, friends and neighbors. Big gifts aren’t always required, a hand written note and a plate of cookies goes a long way!
4. Use coupon codes/debit card when shopping online
If you prefer to shop online, you are sure to save time and money on gas. Before you hit the check out button, be sure to see if any coupon codes are available. You can use our Online Coupon Codes Database to find current coupon codes and save cash. When you check out, link a debit card to the purchase so you are paying cash and not credit.
5. Price match/Ask about cash discounts
There is no quicker way to blow your budget and fall into a credit trap than not price matching! Take a few minutes to compare ads and sales so you can be sure you are always getting the best deal. You will save time and money easily this way. Also be sure to ask if the store offers a further discount for cash. This is more likely when shopping for higher dollar items and is worth asking.
6. Make a list and stick to it
Create a gift list that you can refer to when shopping. It will keep you focused and help you get the gifts you need while avoiding impulse purchases. You can also set a budget next to each recipient and track your spending as you go.
7. Consider layaway
Many stores offer free or cheap layaway during the holiday season. Kmart and Walmart both offer layaway, so you can put a hold on the gifts you need and pay a little bit each week. By the time you pay the balance off the items are yours and you are not in credit card debt. – Keep in mind, that you must pay these items off, so this isn’t for everyone, Layway can be tricky so it’s important to understand the entire process.
Avoid the debt trap this holiday season. Give these tips for a debt free Christmas your consideration and you are sure to save some cash and post holiday stress.