Worried about the holidays and all the expenses that come with it? Money is a major stress factor around the holidays. There are many reasons the season can be stressful, but financial stress affects the widest range of people. Adding to your debt can put a real damper on your holidays.
When debt gets out of control, you put yourself in a precarious position. With maxed out credit cards, you run the risk of missing payments and having to prioritize one bill over another. Interest charges can quickly add up and make the problem even worse. What would happen if you or your spouse lost their job or had to take a reduced income? What would happen if interest rates rose?
If your debt is already out of control, consider booking a consultation with a bankruptcy trustee, now known as a Licensed Insolvency Trustee. Bankruptcy trustees such as David Sklar & Associates offer free first-time consultations in which they will discuss your debt and your options for relief. In situations where you don’t earn enough to repay your unsecured creditors, you may qualify for bankruptcy or a consumer proposal.
When debt becomes overwhelming, debt relief such as a consumer proposal can make more sense than continuing to flounder. Talk to bankruptcy trustees like David Sklar & Associates sooner than later. In the meantime, here’s how you can make sure your Christmas is a frugal one, and you don’t make the problem worse.
#1 Make a Gift List – Know what you plan on buying and budget for it. Don’t be persuaded by even the greatest deals if they’re not on your list. Keep it on your phone or somewhere handy so you can check it any time you’re in a store or you come across clearance sales.
#2 Save Each Week – Calculate how much you spent on Christmas last year, including gifts, food, and travel. Divide that number by the remaining weeks in the year and you’ll know how much you need to save each week to have a debt-free holiday. The sooner you start, the easier it is.
#3 Shop Early – The earlier you start shopping, the better your chances of finding a good deal on the gifts on your list.
#4 Try Regifting – Everyone gets gifts they’re not that keen on, but it doesn’t mean they won’t be appreciated elsewhere. If you receive the perfect gift for someone else, there’s no shame in regifting it.
#5 Homemade Gifts & Cards – Holiday cards can add up quickly, so why not put your crafting skills to the test and make them yourself? When it comes to gifts, if you’re a skilled knitter, woodworker, or a master of preserves, you can save a lot of money.
#6 Make a Budget in Advance – A great way to save is by starting with how much money you already have to spend. Work your way backwards and find a way to fit it all within your budget from there.
#7 Use Those Rewards – If you collect rewards on any of your cards, the holidays are a great time to cash out.
With these 7 tips, you can enjoy a frugal Christmas that doesn’t add to your debt.