How To Avoid Another Credit Card Christmas
Someone once said that the definition of a fool is a person who keeps doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. If that’s true, then most of us have been fools now and then. And with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays around 3 and 4 months away, the number of fools dramatically increases. Here are some early tips and tricks to avoid another Credit Card Christmas.
Too late to start saving up for this Christmas? Fast forward a year from now, when you’ll say, “I can’t believe I didn’t save up for Christmas- AGAIN. Now flashback to the present, and COMMIT to putting aside a certain amount per week or paycheck for NEXT Christmas. Even $10 a week adds up to over $500.
BEFORE you buy your first gift, set an apparent and reasonable holiday budget and then try something new and STICK with it. Make a list of everyone you might give a gift or card to, and decide who you feel you want to get a gift for.
Included in this budgeting process is an honest look at what you can healthily AFFORD to spend on gifts and what motivations you have to spend MORE than you can afford. Is it out of obligation? Guilt? Pressure? Is absolute goodness coming out of paying more? Another question is how much more MEANINGFUL will a more expensive gift be to them?
What terrible thing would happen if you let people know your Christmas budget is tight this year to dig yourself out of credit card debt? I received a card one summer from my friend’s family. It said, “To meet our financial goals, we will not be able to get gifts for the many family and friends we love. We hope this is temporary and are grateful for your understanding.” Or less drastically, just letting people know when it fits into the conversation, your Christmas budget will be smaller this year because you are clear it’s time to stop digging deeper into debt.
Small but meaningful.
Ever been in a situation where you got someone the most expensive gift, but when someone else gave them a tiny $10 nicknack, they cried? Point made.
As my parents did one financially tricky year, how about MAKING all your Christmas gifts? Simple, handmade gifts can mean a lot more because you took the time to make them. It could be a photo album, writing a song or poem, something handcrafted or cooked, etc. The actual value of a gift is determined not by the amount of money but by the amount of heart.
Consider giving one gift to a family or the kids rather than separate gifts for each person.
It’s never too early to consider a more thoughtful way to handle the holidays. If not for this year, then for the next. Deep down, we still remember that the last thing the holiday season is supposed to be about is financial stress.
Thank you for reading and hope you have a good rest of the day!
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