Enjoying December Without Paying for It in January

by Jessica Sommerfield · 0 comments

Most people would say Christmas is one of their favorite times of the year, bringing the joy of reunited family, traditions, festive decorations, scrumptious treats, and the pinnacle event – exchanging of gifts. Everybody expects to spend some money in return for enjoyment of the season, but if you aren’t careful, you can find yourself caught up in the ‘giving’ spirit with your credit card stretched to the max when January rolls around.

So I spent too much. Is it really that big of a deal?
You might think it’s not worth spoiling your enjoyment to worry about how much money you’re spending in December, because you’ll just catch up later. Well, that’s true. The problem is you’ll be catching up much later. Many people admit to getting their credit card back on track just in time for the next holiday season.

Year-long debt, steep interest, and a poor credit score are not only a high price to pay for one holiday, they’re really unnecessary to the enjoyment of it. With that in mind, here are some tips on how to come out of the holidays debt and stress free.

  • Set up a savings account specifically for Christmas spending, and contribute to it on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.

Many banks offer Christmas savings accounts which require minimal deposits to open and don’t require minimum balances. Because these accounts are designed for the short-term, you won’t earn much interest, but at least your Christmas spending money will be ‘out of sight, out of mind’ instead of in your checking account where it inevitably gets spent. You won’t miss the small deposits, and will have a pleasant surprise when you realize how much you have to spend, without guilt.

Of course, you don’t need a special bank account to set aside money all year long. A jar, your mattress, or your kid’s piggy bank can work just as well as long as you remember to save, and don’t touch it until Christmas.

  • Do your Christmas shopping all year long instead of Black Friday to Christmas Eve.  

This is another way to spend responsibly which is just as fun as a guilt-free several-hundred-dollar shopping spree. Many people prefer this method because it also releases the stress of time constraints, long lines, traffic, and exposure to cranky shoppers as all the world descends on the stores the last few weeks of December.

By buying key items when they are out-of-season you can also get better deals. Christmas decorations are at least half-price after the holidays, and winter wear hits the sale racks around January.

Vacations are a great time to pick up things for Christmas – souvenirs from interesting places make unique gifts, and when you’re relaxed, you are more likely to make clear-headed choices.

  • Make your gifts: it really is the thought that counts.

Hand-made craft items, framed art or family photos, home-made cookies – these are the gifts which we love to receive, because they are personal. They are also the most inexpensive, costing not much more than a little time and effort.

If you’re not the crafty type, consider giving the gift of service. Write out coupons redeemable for snow shoveling, house cleaning, massages — you name it.

No matter how you decide to spend more responsibly this holiday season, you won’t regret it. When January comes and all your friends are lamenting about their debt, you can share new tips of your own on how they can plan ahead for next Christmas, too.

Bonus Tip:

Another way to save on your monthly Internet and TV costs is to find a current ATT U-Verse coupon code or at least a promotion to knock down your home service bill.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: