With the holidays looking a whole lot different for everyone this year, we could all use some tips for a credit-free Christmas. Now is the time to decide how much you can afford to spend without digging yourself into debt. You have heard of going sugar-free. Well, the goal this holiday is about going credit-free!
With major cities still in lockdown, this might be the year that you stick close to home, sort photos, play board games, enjoy socially distanced winter sports, create new traditions, and forego extensive gift buying for yourselves and others.
Reining in your spending now — rather than when an avalanche of holiday bills arrives in the New Year — will give you a jump on keeping or getting your finances back on track. Think of how good you will feel to ring in the New Year with a plan already in place.
What are some tips for a credit-free Christmas?
Let this be the year you go into the holidays feeling relaxed and energized knowing holiday debt won’t be following you into the New Year. Here are some tips for having a credit-free Christmas that will get you started.
- Create a budget that takes all holiday costs into account, i.e. gifts, food, decorations, postage, wrapping paper etc
- Make a list of everything you need to buy and don’t rely on credit to purchase it
- Consider a re-gift exchange, a group gift, or homemade gift etc., such as baked bread or your favourite cookie recipe
- Instead of the usual gift-giving, why not recite a poem, sing a song, or do a skit to entertain your family and friends. Your gift of love and laughter will create a special memory that lasts for years to come.
- Opt-out. Yes, that’s right. You won’t be the only one. According to a recent study, 59% of 1,034 American adults surveyed plan to alter their gift-giving practices. The decision to opt-out stems from financial concerns shared by many Canadians
If you’ve already been shopping and feel like you may have overspent, the first step is to understand that you’re not alone – there are options out there such as non-profit credit counselling to help you get back on track. Our credit counsellors work with your best interest in mind, offering objective advice that is right for you, not for profit. Understand that money woes don’t disappear on their own, and that it’s important to reach out for help at the first working signs that you might be over your head with debt. Need help now? Contact us. We are are here to help.
We would love to hear some of your ideas! Tweet us and let us know what is working for you this holiday. We may just update this blog with your super helpful idea.