With a few holiday planning tricks to dodge debt you could be feeling holiday cheer even after you open your credit card bills. You don’t have to ring in the New Year with debt if you plan properly and here we want to help you to do just that. You should ring in your New Year with as much excitement as you did the holidays and when your credit card bills arrive you shouldn’t be afraid to open them up.
[Read: Saving Money during the Holidays]
We all know how excited we tend to be when the holiday comes around but this excitement often doesn’t follow us into the New Year and towards the time of the month when we get our credit card bills. But with the holiday planning tricks to dodge debt you will find right here you will no need to want to avoid January come next year. Here we will help you to plan expenditure so you don’t rack up a lot of debt on your credit cards for the big holiday.
Forbes estimates that Americans spent over $630 billion for holiday shopping in 2015.
Set a Budget
Set a budget for your next holiday. First make a list of all who you will be giving to and then create a budget for each person. Totaling this up will allow you to see your budget for the entire gift giving season. When setting a budget for each person on your list, be realistic and only choose a price point you know you are comfortable with. Once you have come up with your gifting budget you now need to create a budget for other holiday expenses. These may include;
- Parties in the workplace – you may be asked to contribute a menu item.
- Donations to charity – if you are one of those persons who would like to give to the less fortunate in the holiday season.
- Family gatherings – this could be something you may want to put on or are invited to and either way you should make a budget. If you are invited to family events you may need to travel and will need to include those costs in your budget as well.
- Social gatherings – a night out with friends, to toast to the end of another year and the New Year ahead. You may need money for clothes etc.
Having this budget set ahead of time helps you to even have the ability to put small amounts of cash away so that when the holiday comes around everything doesn’t end up being charged to your credit card.
Money Free Gift Giving
A large chunk of the money spent over the holidays is spent on gifts. So one of the best holiday planning tricks to dodge debt is to give a gift that will not cost you any money. This can be a gift of service or a gift of your time. This is ideal for both friends and family as well as for charitable donations. Some ways you can gift your time or service include:
- Babysitting for a family member
- Inviting nieces or nephews for a movie night/sleepover
- Offer your time and labor on a project around the house such as painting, a little landscaping etc.
- Helping to organize a party
- Helping to de-clutter
- Volunteering at your local homeless shelter or community center
The possibilities are endless for giving without spending any money.
More Holiday Planning Tricks to Dodge Debt in the New Year
- Use the budget you created for your holiday expenses you can now create a “countdown fund”. A count down fund is another of the holiday planning tricks to dodge debt that works well. Add up all your expected holiday expenses and divide that number by the amount of months or weeks left before the holiday. Each week or month, you will now going forward put that dollar amount into a savings account so that you will have money ready for the holidays so you won’t have to use your credit card.
A countdown fund is one of the best holiday planning tricks to dodge debt for use for other things as well such as for insurance premiums, annual bills and even for your vacations.
- Search for tips to help you cut down the amount of money you spend during the holiday. Another part about holiday planning tricks to dodge debt is that there are so many people out there with tips and ideas that they use. Search the internet for ways you can get the most out of your money for everything from using old clothes to prepping for a party.
- Lastly, don’t wait until right before the holiday to do your shopping. Always have an eye out for deals and specials at your local stores and also check consignment stores and clearance sections in regular stores and online as well. If you spot a coupon for something you know you would want to gift, get it with the coupon and then put the money you saved from the coupon into your countdown fund.
[Read: It’s Vacation Time: Vacation Saving Tips!]
Just thinking about what the holiday is going to cost you can be stressful but with these few holiday planning tricks to dodge debt in the New Year you can have a happy holiday and a happy New Year too.