Holidays are known to be stressful times with family gatherings, parties, events, high expectations, and extra expenses; and Christmas is no exception. Especially if you are trying to stay debt free this holiday season.
Here are some great tips to get you through this year’s festivities debt free!
If you typically spend a lot at Christmas and need to cut way back this year, then you need to set the expectations before the big day.
It’s ok to tell your kids and/or family that you are trying to spend less this Christmas. You can make a game out of it with your children by setting a low budget and getting creative with gift giving.
You can also tell your extended family that you are trying something new this year and that their gifts may be a little different than in years past.
The key is communication upfront so that no one is disappointed on Christmas Day.
Give Zero to Low Cost Gifts
Oftentimes a sincere handwritten note is much more meaningful than a store bought present. There are so many things you can make, bake, write, or create that don’t cost you anything.
Spend time thinking about the individual and their needs, hobbies, and special qualities and it will be easy to come up with a more personal gift this year.
Here are just a few examples of low cost gifts you could give:
- Bake cookies or bread
- Hand write letters
- Draw a picture
- Write a poem
- Craft something they would enjoy
Use What You Have
I bet you have plenty of gifts and gifting materials in your home already. If you prefer to bake, then most likely you already have most of the needed ingredients in your pantry. A quick trip to the store for the missing ingredients arms you with dozens of inexpensive baked goods to give.
If you are a crafter, then gather up your craft supplies and create some original works of art or crafts to give out this year.
Another great way to find gifts is to search your closets, basement, and garage. If you have extra toiletries, books, movies, CD’s, toys, etc that are new or in like-new condition these may be perfect for someone on your list.
Also, for the finishing touch, look around for bags, baskets, and any wrapping paper you may have before you buy from the store.
Shop Second Hand
After you have exhausted all your resources at home, it’s time to shop. Turn to your local ad listings, discount, outlet, and second-hand stores first. You can find a great deal of potential gifts for a very low price. You may even have enough money left in your budget after all this to buy yourself something nice!
Try to remember the real reason we celebrate this holiday and realize that people ultimately care about you and your presence, not the presents you give.
Despite the stigma, there is no need to go into debt in order to fully enjoy the holiday season.