6 Tips to Avoid Debt This Holiday Season

As we continue to adapt to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s likely many families will scale back on holiday gatherings this year. Though many people will shop online, shipping gifts directly to family and friends, it is still easy to spend more than you plan. Here are six tips to help you stick to a budget and avoid debt this holiday season:

  1.  Set a budget and stick to it. Careful planning is the key so start early by looking at how much you have set aside to spend. In addition to gifts, include all your expenses such as decorations and travel. As you shop, refer to your budget often to make sure you’re staying within its limits.
  2. Resist the urge to shop for yourself. Whether you’re at a store or shopping online, it’s easy to pick up a few extra things for yourself. Try not to. After all, someone may gift you the item you had your eye on. If they don’t, you can take advantage of post-holiday sales to treat yourself.
  3. Use credit cards wisely. If you like the convenience of credit cards, charge only what you can afford to pay off each month.
  4. Choose sentimental over extravagant. Sometimes the gifts that mean the most cost the least. You don’t have to spend a ton of money to buy a present your family or friends will love. Personalized yet economic gifts from online sites like Etsy, are a great option.
  5. Combine sales with online discounts. The holiday season is filled with sales and online discount coupons. Often you can combine the two to get great deals on the items on your list.
  6. Be selective. If you’re the type who buys gifts for every family member, co-worker, and neighbor, you may want to rethink your strategy. Limiting the number of people you give gifts to will help you avoid breaking the bank.

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