Don't Dig yourself into Holiday Debt

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Man checking expenses made during holiday season

The pressure to please everyone with gifts during the holiday season can be immense. But if you succumb to the temptation to overcharge your cards or dig into your savings, you'll start off the new year with a hole burned in your pocket.

Here are some tips to help you stay financially sound through the holidays.

Budget

The best way to avoid overextending yourself this holiday season is with a budget. Start with realistic assumptions about how much you can afford to spend and still pay off any balances on your January credit card bills.

If you think you'll have trouble sticking to your budget, try the cash-in-an-envelope method. Set aside an envelope with your holiday gift spending money, and only go shopping with the cash you intend to spend on that trip. That will force you to be purposeful with your spending and determined to keep within your budget.

Prioritize

Sometimes it's hard to say no, but does everyone need a gift this holiday season? Start allocating your budget to your closest family and friends, those you see every day and rely on most. Then work outwards to more distant family members, friends and co-workers. Not everyone in those outer rings needs a gift or even a Hallmark card. Instead, you could send a greeting email that still expresses your love and appreciation, but at little cost.

Things other than Money

You can get creative with gifts that express what you have to offer as an individual. A gift of your time and skills can be more thoughtful than something bought in a store. Piano lessons, a home-cooked meal, free baby-sitting and offers of repairs if you have craftsman skills are just some examples. Try to offer a gift that the recipient would readily accept with gratitude.

Don't Forget the Reason for the Season

Consider slowing down as the pace of the season picks up. A quiet night at home with friends and loved ones can be the greatest gift of all. (P.S. Make it a potluck so you don't have to buy all the food.)


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Disclaimer

The information in this article is written as accurately as possible and to best of the writer's knowledge. However, there may be omissions, errors, or mistakes. Because of this and changes in circumstances, the information in this article is subject to change. This article is for informational purposes only and should not serve as professional, financial, medical, emotional, and/or legal advice. Readers may rely on the information on this article at their own risk, but they should consult a CPA, financial expert, or other professional for advice. Givilancz & Martinez, PLLC reserves the right to change and handle this article series, and therefore, may remove or alter any part of this article or the comments section. Any comments inserted by readers are not the responsibility of G&M PLLC and do not represent the thoughts or ideas of G&M PLLC.