While there are many positive associations we can make when we think about Christmas, there is one pesky aspect that can put a rather large damper on this joyful time of year. This of course, is the debt-factor. With all of the many expenses that are a part of this holiday, one unfortunate reality of the aftermath of Christmas is having to deal with huge bills and yes of course lots of debt.
However, this does not have to be the case and you can enjoy your holiday through and through without having to face financial turmoil in the months following Christmas. In fact, there are plenty of methods that can help save your bank account and allow you to avoid getting deeper into debt this Christmas season.
Here are 4 debt-reducing strategies that may align with your Christmas spending plans this year.
1) Making a Gift List & a Budget
To begin with it is a good idea to start by making a Christmas gift list. For each person you need to shop for, you can identify which gift you plan to buy for them.
The second part of this step is to set a budget based on who is on your list. Sometimes, at this stage of the process this list can help you also cut out who you don’t necessarily have to buy for. While we would ideally like to buy for everyone, this is not always very financially realistic so narrowing down your gift list is a effective method of saving on holiday expenses.
Moving onto the budget stage, you will then devise a realistic budget that allows you to meet these gift requirements. With a checklist and a budget in hand before you hit the stores, then you are likely to be more efficient in your actual shopping – and in turn you will be less likely to overspend on additional gifts – and items that exceed your proposed budget.
2) Shopping for Gifts Online
Online shopping is not only a convenient way of shopping without having to visit an actual store – often times you can also save on various items as well. There may be discounts that are exclusively found online that are not also found in the actual store. Furthermore, online shopping can also mean that you won’t have to spend money on gassing up your car to drive around from store to store.
Additionally, shopping online retail locations can also decrease the amount of stress that is so often associated with standing in long lines and fighting the in-store as well as street traffic you may otherwise encounter.
Many individuals, including parents with small children also find it more and more favourable to shop online and the have their parcels delivered directly to their front door. With a busy lifestyle all year round, not to mention the hectic time that occurs at Christmastime – this facet of online shopping is hugely advantageous – especially in the area of reducing your costs.
3) Putting Those Loyalty Points to Good Use
If you have been saving points from one or more retail locations, now may be a good time to cash them in. Not only can you use some of these points to buy gifts for individuals on your Christmas list, you may also be able to use them to pay for some of the food items you will need this holiday season. Whether you are making a Christmas dinner – or buying food and drinks to bring with you to a holiday gathering – either way this type of shopping will also add up.
When digging out your loyalty cards, you may also find that the points you have saved will add up to more than you thought and you now have the potential to save several dollars here and there. Ultimately, this strategic shopping plan can help you reduce your overall Christmas expenses and prevent accumulating further debt in the process.
4) Organizing a Secret Santa Gift Exchange
Yet another avenue of saving some decent income this December is opting for a secret santa gift exchange as opposed to having to buy a gift for every single family member and friend you have. By shifting towards secret santa gift giving – where each person buys one gift for another person instead of buying for multiple people you can really save a lot more money compared to what you have shelled out on previous Christmases.
Each family will be different, however by implementing a no-more than $50.00 gift limit for example, can also be a great method of cutting down your overall holiday expenditures. The ‘secret’ eliminate of this gift exchange can really add to the festive feel and element of surprise as you all look forward to figuring out who has who each year. Furthermore, you will also feel more pleasantly surprised as you eye your January visa statements and notice that you have not had to pay near as much as you have in past years.
While there are sure to be many more methods that will enable you to save money this year as well as into the future, these 4 methods can be a beneficial way of steering clear of more debt this Christmas. In the end, hopefully you can find you have been able to reduce your holiday debt and as a result you can have a very merry January too.