As the festive season approaches, many people are beginning to experience anxiety. There’s a great deal of pressure during this time of year to be jolly and dote on your loved ones with lavish gifts, exciting outings, and new experiences.
If you can’t manage the financial commitment this year, you need a strategy to help you stay out of debt. It’s not always enough to play it by ear. Proper planning ahead of time can make it easier to enjoy yourself and to set clear expectations among your loved ones. Here are five tips to avoid holiday debt:
1. Reach Out For Help
Debt relief is the last thing you want to think about during the festive season, but, if you’re struggling to honor your financial commitments it might be time to seek help.
There are non-profit organizations offering debt solutions that can assist those who are struggling with repayments. You may be able to arrange a payment break or a reduction in your monthly contributions.
It’s important to reach out and discover all of the possible options that exist. This can often lead to easier ways of managing your finances. There’s absolutely nothing to lose by chatting to a professional who specializes in debt management.
2. Opt For Handmade Gifts
Christmas is a time of year when we should be focused on enjoying time with our loved ones. However, in many ways, the holiday season has been hijacked by marketers intent on boosting their profits.
With this in mind, one of the first places you should look at cutting costs is with gift-giving. This is one of the most costly aspects of Christmas, and it can feel like a tremendous burden if you’re not financially equipped for it.
You may decide to create gorgeous Christmas hampers filled with home-baked goodies, or even agree on a giftless Christmas this year. Looking out for your own financial well-being needs to take precedence over indulging others.
Everyone understands that it’s been a difficult year, so this is the perfect opportunity to spend time with people instead of focussing on consumer products.
3. Make A Holiday Savings Pocket
Putting away small change and little bits of extra cash throughout the year is the best way to enjoy your own little end-of-year bonus. You’ll be surprised at just how quickly little contributions to your savings pocket add up to a nice amount of cash.
This extra cash can help to ease the financial burden slightly and give you some leeway to enjoy a few additional pleasures. Of course, pulling this off successfully means you have to get started as soon as possible to give you enough time to gather some savings.
4. Have A Week-By-Week Holiday Budget
Saving money can be tricky. Taking your holiday budget, deducting your expenses, and then dividing the rest by the number of weeks over the festive season will give you a weekly budget to work with. Set this cash aside and don’t spend beyond your means in any seven-day period.
This will equip you to make it to the end of the season without feeling strapped for cash. It will also help you to exercise some self-discipline when it comes to managing your expenses effectively.
5. Change Your Focus
Instead of buying into the consumerist mindset, look for creative ways to connect with your loved ones. Spending one-on-one time in which you’re truly engaged with your loved ones will give you the most memorable holiday you’ve had yet.
Follow the tips above, sidestep the holiday hype, and rediscover how important your time and attention are to those that value you.