Six Sensible Tips to Stay Clear of the Post-Christmas Debt
How you can avoid getting into debt this holiday season?
08:06 30 December 2014
With the shopping season looming larger than ever, retailers are hoping for people to spend more than they did last year so they can enjoy more sales this time around. However, not many consumers have the money it takes to buy gifts for everyone. Many UK consumers that are strapped for cash plan to spend less money this year, and do not want to take on more debt, regardless of holidays.
If you want to escape the risk of spending more than you can afford, here is how you can do it.
1. Draw a budget
Easier said than done. The more time you take to budget, the less you end up spending. Set up a budget and keep track of how much you have spent. Evaluate your expenditure along the way to make sure you are keeping to your budget.
2. Get your family members involved
Ask them to sit in on a meeting to see if it helps. Discuss your shopping plans with the members of your family and voice your concerns in simple language that everyone can make sense of. Talk to your kids that you have a budget you want to stick to. Tell them they cannot afford to overspend, if they want to go one a holiday next summer.
3. Go easy on the Christmas sales
Make your post-Christman gift giving meaningful, even if only to yourself. It is not about money. It is all about celebrating the good times with people you love, and spreading happiness around.
Send out cards to all the near and dear you have been thinking to reach out to. Do volunteer work if you care about others. Think about how you want others to remember this holiday season, and create something that will capture their attention.
4. Memorise a mantra.
Focus on your intention, which is not to spend more than you can afford, and steer clear of trigger points that drive you to overspend. A personalised mantra will do the trick, but here are a few suggestions you might consider: “The holidays are more about caring for others, not spending for myself”, “0% debt, 100% love”, “Sticking to my budget means a real Happy New Year 2015” etc.
Remind yourself as to why this holiday season is important to you. So when you get to see those flashy deals and adverts, you know you have something to work against them.
5. Stay Away from Things that Force You to Spend
Be aware about where you are, and what happens around. Stay away from malls, and shopping centers that are organised around spending money. The more time you spend in the mall, the more likely you are to spend on things that you did not plan to buy. The more you shop online, the more likely you are going to overspend. The more you watch shopping channels on TV, the more likely you are going to buy stuff you do not need.
The place you are at makes a significant difference in the money you spend. Keep your focus off the mall, that is a very dangerous way to spend your time.
6. Do not spend money to save more
Coupons, promo codes, and discounts are all about saving money on deals you do not need and may urge you to exceed your budget. If things go out of control, you may even go broke saving money. Focus on the money you are spending, not how much you are saving.
It is fairly easy to slip into the red this season. Following these tips might help you avoid a Christmas debt hangover though.