It’s the most wonderful pricey time of the year, a time where you go all in and spend like there’s no tomorrow.
Be it gifts, decorations or state-of-the-art Christmas Trees, let’s not forget that every time we spend, The USA’s average Christmas debt soars. A hefty chunk of American adults fail to realize the dents that Christmas debt leaves on their credit report.
To quote someone, Christmas is the season when people run out of money before they run out of friends. While you’re busy swiping credit cards, you stack up on an average Christmas debt of $1,000 every year like many others.
So the question is- How to avoid Christmas Debt? Think about it, what do you spend your money on? Apart from Gifts, Décor, and a lavish dinner for twenty-something people? Nothing productive, right? Now’s the right time to STOP IT.
We present you 9 foolproof ways to avoid Christmas debt. Follow them and do us a favor by reducing average Christmas debt, you responsible adults! Santa is counting on you!
1. All Hail the Budget
Be it holiday season or just another day in your life- cover the basic expenses first. Even Santa has to feed his Reindeers. You need to pay rent to keep your spouse happy and your kids’ school fee comes before their presents.
By covering basic expenses, you won’t turn to debt on deadlines. After that, have a look at your budget. If you have sufficient money left, thank Baby Jesus. You just took step one to avoid Christmas debt.
The biggest reason for scaling the average Christmas debt is unplanned expenditures during the holiday season. Save yourself!
PRO TIP: Cut yourself some slack; Use the money that you were going to deposit in the emergency fund this month for Holidays.
2. Cut back a little, maybe?
No matter how hard you wish- Santa won’t shower money in the name of ‘Christmas Miracle’. The easiest way to avoid Christmas debt is to cut back on your savings for a few months.
If we would’ve done that, then the average Christmas debt would’ve been a lot less than what it is. If only…
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Trim is a secure app that has a look at your personal finances and tells you how you can save money in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is download the app and let Trim cast a magic spell to save money for Holidays. Cutting back on expenses has never been easier!
3. Saving Money on the next level
Do you know Santa’s sleigh bearers rest for the whole year just to prepare for Christmas? If they can save energy, why can’t you save money?
We already advised you to cut back on expenses, now we are going to show you how to save money and use it all at the time of Christmas. How so?
Gear up to avoid Christmas debt and open up a Holiday fund. This is where you are going to stuff a portion of income every month. This money is exclusively for Christmas spending.
Save on what you Spend
Now here’s the catch. Whatever money you save on coupons, put that amount in your Christmas Fund. Be it $0.25 or $100, It should go into your Christmas fund. After all, we are doing this to avoid Christmas debt right?
Credit Card Rewards
Do the same thing with rewards you reap from your credit card. Put the money in your Christmas Fund and watch stuff the stocking with money!
There are tonnes of ways to save money till Christmas; you can check them out too!
4. Recycle Gifts you got last Christmas
Sadly, you can’t return gifts to Santa if you don’t like them. Remember that jumper you got last Christmas but it wasn’t the right size? It’s still there in the attic, right beside an exotic tea-set and a wooden mantelpiece.
Yes, these are the gifts you’ve received in past Christmas and now’s the time to pass them on.
The biggest contributor to sky-high average Christmas debt is overspending on gifts. We all receive gifts that we don’t like and its fine! Because let’s face it- we cannot keep everyone happy.
You’ll spend a good amount of your Christmas budget on gifts; this is quite a way to reduce the spending. Stop buying new gifts and recycle the gifts you’ve got by gifting them to someone else. (I used ‘gift’ twenty times in this paragraph.)
5. A Gift that’s close to Heart
Christmas is about doing a little something extra for someone. That doesn’t necessarily mean planting expensive gifts under the tree. It’s about loving the giver more than the gift.
When it comes to that, personalized gifts save the day. They help you avoid Christmas debt and your loved ones will definitely remember a personal gift that reminds them of the good times they had.
Give your mum a framed family photo that would bring tears of joy. As for your spouse, you can present a box full of scrolls with handwritten messages. For kids, well, we’ll get to them later.
Leading researchers say that personalized gifts are fun and close to one’s heart, if average Christmas debt has to be brought down, they can do the trick for the whole nation, and you.
6. Who’s on the Guest-list?
Who is going to crawl through the Chimney to join the party? Send your brain for a jog to figure out who’s coming to your place for Christmas this year.
Are the distant cousins joining in? Can your spouse’s parents make it despite their flight fear? Are the kids interested in having their buddies over?
Once you have a rough count of guests, shopping would be much easier. You won’t spend extra money on buying gifts for the couple who ‘might make it’ or that cousin who’ll ‘maybe’ stop by for supper.
You’d avoid Christmas debt as your spending will be in reference to the guest-list. A shocking statistic reveals that the average Christmas debt is as high as it is because people buy ‘extra gifts’ just in case they fall short of them.
If you want to hit that one store where you can shop for all and save money, Walmart would be the best choice.
7. Shopping Time? Break the Bank
What did you think when we said ‘Break the Bank’? We meant your Christmas fund, Rudolph. This is the time you were readying it for. Transfer your Christmas Fund money to a debit card and take it with you when you shop.
Leave your credit cards behind. The objective is to avoid Christmas debt, not multiplying it by using your credit card. Shop with cash if possible, it’s the best way to keep your feet on the ground while Christmas shopping.
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8. Secret Santa to the Rescue
Man, it sucks to be Santa. Flying around delivering presents at sub-zero temperatures- why don’t we make his job easier?
The best way to avoid Christmas debt is to spend less on other people and save more for yourself and your family. How to do so? Secret Santa is the answer!
According to Wikipedia, “Secret Santa is a Western Christmas tradition in which members of a group or community are randomly assigned a person to whom they give a gift. The identity of the gift giver is a secret not to be revealed.”
Now that everyone is Santa, they just have to buy gifts for that one person. It’s fun, exciting and surprises are guaranteed! Man, our average Christmas debt could go down if we all switch to Secret Santa!
Ah, the true spirit of Xmas lies in the eyes of a kid.
How does a child idealize Christmas? You can surprise kids by dressing up as Santa and probably your cousin can be an elf. That’s all it takes to make kids scream and shout in Holiday fervor. The gifts? They don’t need a Ferrari!
Figure out what is your kid’s favorite toy(s) and buy it. Don’t dress up the Christmas tree with 10 expensive toys. Gather two of his favorite toys and three basic ones, watch your little one light up like a bulb!
The spirit of Christmas is no longer the same. Nowadays, people stop Christmas shopping only when they ran out of money. That’s a big reason why average Christmas debt is scaling to new heights while taking our savings to new lows.
Stop swiping your credit cards and avoid Christmas debt hangover, which lasts for at least 6 months after the festive season ends. It’s not what’s under the Christmas tree that matters; it’s who’s around it.
The last thing you want is to walk into 2019 with a truckload of Holiday debt in your sack. So control your spending today and hope for a debt-free future. For if you avoid Christmas debt this season, it’s going to be a Miracle!
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