Christmas is oh so near. We can already hear Christmas songs and carols and I bet you are already on holiday mode too. The wind is getting colder, the sky gets darker as early as 5pm and more. This is most definitely one happy holiday and more so the most extravagant one there is. Simply imagine the money you would be shelling out for Noche Buena, gifts, office parties, reunions and more. There is no denying that the holidays can really push you to debt. And I couldn’t agree more since I was in this kind of situation before.
Perhaps we might want to shift the perception of things and enjoy the holidays without debt. Needless to say, if we have it, we would be paying that in the next year. And what better way to welcome 2015 without one right? Hence, here are some tips that will guarantee a debt free holiday.
Tip 1: Start With a Budget
A budget will really go far especially if you would want to be debt free this Christmas. Simply identify your possible expenses such as food, gifts, family visits, parties and more. From there, have a rough estimate on how much you would shell out for each expense. How much would you be spending for the gifts? How about for Noche Buena? Will you give money to your family and relatives? If yes, how much? You might not hit the exact rates however a budget will give you a bird’s eye view on things and items that you would be spending on during the holidays. More so, it will help establish just how much you would really need in total. To help you out with budgeting, here’s a link of a template that you can use. If you are keen to buy gifts, identify your recipients and how much you are willing to spend for their gifts. This will help you not to go overboard when you shop since you are the one dictating the price.
Tip 2: Start Saving
Christmas shopping for gifts and food is not a onetime thing. You can’t just say I will use my 13th month pay and Christmas bonus to do it. As much as possible, you must have slowly saved months ago. True you may still have spared cash like your 13th month and bonus however we cannot deny that even with those amounts, it will never be enough. Hence if you have a budget and know how much you need, you will still have an ample amount of time to save up for the soon to be expenses.
Tip 3: Scout for Sales and Discounts
Since the year is ending, many stores if not all will go on sale. Hence, hit out the discount stores. Keep an eye for bargains, sales and discounts. For sure, your gift would be on sale and you will be able to save tons. You can find gifts often at much reduced price. Aside from that, don’t also forget to bring in coupons if you have. Small savings can go far.
Tip 4: Shop Off-Season
As the holidays is getting near, so are the prices of the in demand commodities. That is why, beat the season when you want to shop for gifts and food choices. You may want to start buying gifts months ahead of the holidays. This will help you save a lot and more so you won’t be encountering a lot of people in the malls too. Even more, don’t shop once. Try to do it over time so that you can also spread the costs out. This will help you and your budget so it won’t take a big hit in your wallet at once. And more so when you shop, stick to your budget and don’t go overboard.
Tip 5: Use Cash
As they say, cash is king. When you head out to shop, bring cash and not your cards. This will help you limit your expenses and keep it to a minimum. More so, you would be very conscious with your purchases since it involves cash. Hence, leave your credit cards at home and more so your ATM. Set aside a specific fund for your Christmas shopping and work your way around that budget.
The holidays surely entail cost. However, this doesn’t mean you need to incur debts. Remember, what better way to enjoy it than not worrying with debt for the next months and the next year. Implement these tips for that headache free Christmas and a debt free one too.