Advice about keeping your holiday spending under control so that you don’t wake up in mid-January to a pile of unmanageable credit card bills is nothing new!
If you’re like me, it’s easy to know what you shouldn’t do, but finding productive ideas to replace the bad ones isn’t always so easy.
I appreciated the points from this article and wanted to share a few of them with you.
- Set Holiday Spending Limits
Give your credit card and your mind a holiday by limiting what you buy to what can safely come out of your bank account. The money you can reasonably spend on gifts is money that isn’t going to bills. That said, if you want to have a little more to spend, this doesn’t have to be just the money left over at the end of the month. You can also use the money that you would normally spend elsewhere, such as on your morning latte. As long as you are using cash (not cash advances from credit cards) without spending your house payment money, you are doing great.
- Be Realistic About Your Budget
Your older brother paid off his student loans five years ago, and he always gets you the fanciest presents. However, if you are in a different place in your financial life, you shouldn’t follow suit.
If you have any doubts as to whether those on your list will appreciate the less expensive presents you buy them, think back to what your friends and family gave to you when their budgets were tighter. There’s no doubt that you’ll both be better friends in the new year if you’re not creating debt loads for each other this year.
- Provide Personalized Gifts
A small, thoughtful gift is worth more than an expensive gift that someone may never use. Avoid impulses to shop at trendy stores and start the holiday by taking a moment to think about what those on your list could really use.
For example, if your sister loves to bake but can’t get the hang of homemade pie crusts, you could buy her a simple pastry-making tool for less than $10 and include a copy of a fool-proof recipe.
The article went on to suggest giving the gift of time – that can often mean more than something mass produced and ordered through Amazon – or even organizing group volunteering work vs. expensive holiday parties.
The main thing I want to share here is the idea that we can make this traditional season of gift giving meaningful without going into debt or getting stressed out about how to afford it!
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Mission San Jose Mortgage
2111 W. March Lane, Suite B100
Stockton, CA 95207