I know all too well about the gift-giving, raising debt cycle. I was trapped in it for years thinking that the more I gave the more people would know how much I loved them. For me in a lot of ways things equalled love. It was a hard cycle to break.
After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season ends and a new year begins, many people are hit hard by the amount of debt they actually spent in a short period of time to fulfill their holiday obligations. If you are not careful, you can start a vicious cycle of debt that could take years to eliminate.
Click through for 7 ways to avoid holiday debt successfully…
7 Ways to End the Vicious Cycle of Holiday Debt 1 of 8
Image source: David Davies
Make a Holiday Spending Budget 2 of 8
Before you take a single step into the mall, look at your budget and see how much you can afford to spend over the holidays starting as early as possible. The extra money you have in the months' proceeding the holidays can be added up to give you a set spending limit. Remember this spending limit should include not only gifts but also holiday decorations, holiday meals, and other related costs.
Image source: whale05
Make Your Shopping List 3 of 8
It can be tough to ax people from your gift-giving list but if you cannot afford to buy a gift for every person in your life just face facts. Make list of the people that you will buy for and then, using your spending limit, assign a spending limit for each person. So if you have to buy for 6 people and have a $300 on gifts to spend, you can safely spend $50 per person.
Image source: ...love Maegan
Shop Only With Cash 4 of 8
When you hit the mall, bring your gift shopping list and your cash. Do not spend on credit unless you have the cash equivalent to deposit directly into your checking account so you can pay the credit card bill as soon as possible. By sticking to this shopping method, you can resist overspending especially on credit cards. Keep one in your wallet only for other emergencies.
Image source: somegeekintn
Think In Practical Terms 5 of 8
If you are hard-pressed for a gift idea, think practical. Consider items that are useful and affordable. Think about the person you are shopping for and consider what they like and what they will actually use. It's pointless to spend a lot of your money on a dust collector.
Image source: Cali4beach
Make A Signature Gift 6 of 8
If your shopping list is still quite extended even after careful consideration, consider investing your funds into ingredients to create a signature item like made from scratch pies, cookies, or a creative dessert idea to gift to friends, family, and co-workers. If you are crafty, make a specially designed item for each person on your list.
Image source: Jo Naylor
Do a Name Exchange 7 of 8
To guarantee your shopping list gets shorter, connect with family members and suggest a name exchange where names are drawn out of a hat for all the adults. You'll buy only one larger gift for the person you draw and use your other funds for gifts for the kids in the family.
Image source: robscomputer
Host a Potluck Holiday Get Together 8 of 8
If you are the host of the holidays, you can easily overspend on home decorations, supplies, and food to accommodate your family and friends. Do things differently this time. Host a night where your loved ones get together to help you decorate for the gathering and ask everyone to bring a dish for the main event. Supply the main ingredients for the meal like the turkey and everyone else can supply sides and desserts.
Image source: Coyoty