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9 Ways to Really Beat Holiday Debt
This holiday season don’t be lured into overindulgence, especially if you have a fragile budget. Eating too, drinking too much, shopping too much are all things that can be managed. Here are nine tips to help you beat holiday debt.
1. Keep Shopping Fun. As you engage in retail therapy, try and keep it light and fun with friends, family. Don’t get hung up on what you bought or missed out on and try to have a balanced experience.
2. Consider Alternative Gifts. When choosing a gift, take the time to think about that person and what he or she would truly enjoy, rather than opt for a generic store-bought gift.
3. Get a job. If after making your budget, you still aren’t able to get your holiday budget to balance, consider taking on some part-time holiday work.
4. Prepare a Spending Plan. Be proactive and have a gift list for your holiday spending. Include major purchases and estimate your costs for food, decorations and entertainment.
5. Reconsider Luxury Spending. Many Americans have too many things, even buying storage lockers at alarming rates. Ask yourself do you need those shoes? Fancy watch? Choose wisely.
6. Be Smart About Booking Flights. Flying home for the holidays? Try booking a flight on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday. It helps to shop around.
7. Use Store Layaway. Layaway disappeared for a few years, but a lot of big retailers, like Wal-Mart and KMart, are bringing it back for the holiday season.
8. Host Holiday Potlucks. Your grocery bill adds up quickly if you’re hosting a holiday dinner. Manage costs by planning a potluck and asking guests to bring the side dishes, desserts and drinks.
9. Leave the Credit Cards at Home. If you are not good with controlling yourself when you are shopping, then you should leave your credit card at home.
The holiday season may entice you to spend more than you can afford, but self-discipline can help you keep your purchases to a manageable limit. And come the new year you won’t have sticker shock when you get your bills.