Let’s face it: the holidays are a time of excess. Neighbors outdo each other with extravagant lights displays, and stores begin playing Christmas tunes before the Thanksgiving turkey has even been carved. And let’s not forget about gift-giving – the holiday season is the time of year to dream about stacks of presents under the tree. It’s nice to want to give your loved ones a great holiday, but you don’t want your wallet to suffer because of it. Below are some tips to keep in mind for debt-free holiday shopping.
Five Tips to Keep You Out of Debt This Holiday
1.) Budget accordingly.
The very best way to avoid surprises is to make a strict budget and hold yourself to it. If you go into holiday shopping without a firm idea of what you want to spend, you could quickly find yourself buried underneath a mountain of debt. Try to plan your budget as early as possible, even if you’re not planning to shop until the last two months of the year. Having a budget in mind early allows you to save the money in a special account, and it allows you to account or prepare for any overages.
2.) Make a list – and stick to it.
A list is as crucial as a budget. Be sure to leave nothing out. For example, will you be giving your mail carrier a bonus? Do you get your kid’s teachers a little something? Even if you’re only spending five dollars, make sure to put that person’s name on the list. It will keep your budget accurate and help you avoid shelling out extra cash you were saving for non-holiday items, such as bills and groceries.
3.) Shop around.
Nowadays, we are surrounded by technology, which comes in very handy this time of year. Grab your laptop, tablet, or smart phone, and use it to shop around for the best deals on gifts. Sure, you could trudge to the mall at 5 a.m. on Black Friday, but why do that when the internet can tell you which stores have the best price, and even how many of a particular item they have in stock? Tracking down the best prices helps you stick to your budget, and it keeps you out of trouble.
4.) Consider a gift exchange.
Rather than buying a present for each of your friends, suggest a gift exchange. That way, you’re each on the hook for just one gift. A gift exchange takes the heat off your budget, and keeps you from having to think up ten different gift ideas.
5.) Look into layaway.
If there’s a gift you simply must buy someone, and the cheapest price is still pretty steep, ask the store if they offer layaway. You can put the gift on hold and pay it off in smaller increments. Your budget won’t take such a huge hit, and you still get purchase the gift.
Are your bills turning you into Scrooge? Talk to an Ohio Debt Relief Lawyer
It can be difficult to get yourself out of debt, especially with the holidays right around the corner. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, consider speaking to the Ohio debt management lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates. We can go over your bills and help determine if a debt relief option such as filing for bankruptcy may be right for you. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at no cost, call us at (888) 726-3181 or email us at email@example.com.