Let’s face it. Holidays can generate a lot of credit card debt, and unsecured debts can really throw a “Grinch” into your holiday plans. Creating a budget for holiday shopping, reducing expenses and avoiding new debts will help you start the New Year with a brighter financial profile. In addition, reducing your monthly bills by using a nonprofit debt consolidation program can help you free more cash for thoughtful and thrifty holiday shopping.
Cutting Holiday Expenses
Instead of adding to your debts during the holidays, try saving money and paying more on your loan balances to reduce monthly interest charges and post-holiday stress. Save money by paying cash for all your purchases and following money-saving shopping strategies:
- Stay focused by planning a budget and sticking to it.
- Ignore social media and friends who brag about the latest electronic gizmos.
- Use technology to save money by printing coupons, using budgeting apps and posting holiday greetings digitally.
- Find pine cones, acorns, flowers and tree branches to make your own decorations.
- Dim lights, and create a festive air with candles and a fire in the hearth, outdoor barbecue or balcony hibachi.
- Look for holiday events that promote togetherness and family fun that are free or inexpensive.
Plan What You Buy
Holidays encourage impulse buying, but ask yourself who really needs gifts. Cards or thoughtful handmade remembrances often mean more than fancy gifts that people might not even appreciate — just look at the lines of people returning gifts after the holidays. Buy with cash, make gifts by hand and prune your list to the bare essentials.
Generate More Holiday Cash with Debt Consolidation
Debt consolidation counselors like the ones found at CreditGUARD can persuade your creditors to reduce interest rates and monthly payments, so you have more cash to spend for the holidays. Spending cash forces you to budget your expenses more carefully and avoid overspending. Credit counseling helps you make a budget for year-round benefits, learn how to stretch your income, and avoid taking on debts for nonessential luxuries.
A debt consolidation program could provide an unexpected bonus for the holidays: your creditors might waive fees and penalties. Use the windfall to pay down your debts, save for emergencies, or buy modest gifts for your most important friends and family members. Show people how much you appreciate their company by doing things with them instead of spending lavishly on gifts, entertainment and meals.