Christmas is a time for generosity and joy. But too often generosity turns into the desire to please those around us with gifts. Our children demand the latest toys and technological wonders or you simply want to give them what they want. Gift exchange means finding gifts for a host of family, friends and even co-workers. When you know what others are spending and what other children are receiving from their parents, it is difficult not to go all out with your own spending. However, giving gifts you cannot afford, hurts you and your family once those bills come due. Here are tips to help you avoid debt this and every Christmas.
- Realize you don’t have to give your children everything they want. That shiny “something” will soon be lost or broken. As for very young children, they’ll not even notice the toy that is in a nice, big box. They’ll play with the box. Give your children things they will enjoy for longer than a day. These do not have to cost a great deal of money. For example, craft a toy from a box for that little one to play in.
- Commit to staying out of debt. Make a list of everyone for which you purchase gifts. Figure out how much you can spend on gifts without going into debt. Do not be influenced by what others spend. Think in terms of meaningful gifts rather than cost. If the figures still don’t add up, consider what other Christmas expenses you can cut. These might include a fancy new outfit. It might mean cutting down on the amount spent on a holiday party.
- As soon as one Christmas is over, start a savings account for the next Christmas. Have money automatically added to the account every payday. You can also keep a Christmas jar at home and add extra change at the end of each day and the unexpected money received during the year.
- Keep the list of those for whom you purchase gifts at Christmas handy. During the year, buy gifts for the recipients and put them away to be wrapped and given at Christmas.
- For family, get together and agree to a “green” Christmas by either re-gifting, passing on an unused item to someone who would appreciate it, or by encouraging gift givers to make their gifts. Crafting can become a family affair and even become a tradition of giving gifts that may not be technically perfect, but are one-of-a-kind creations from the heart.
- Always pay cash. There is something about using a credit card that makes individuals spend more than intended. A credit card doesn’t seem like money, not even debit cards. Making a budget and using cash helps you process how much you are spending and how much you have left. This makes you more careful in how and on what you spend your money.
- While children should be given at least one special gift, as a family, you can choose to give of your time or money to charity instead of buying expensive gifts for one another.
You can avoid debt at Christmas with commitment and planning.
This article was written by Phill representing CompareLogbookLoans.co.uk – an independent financial website bringing together and comparing available logbook loans.