How To Minimize Debt This Holiday Season

Nov 29, 2022 Holidays

Will you be naughty or nice when it comes to holiday shopping? Try these tips to help avoid piling on additional debt this season.

A person wrapping a holiday gift.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend an average of $833 this holiday season on gifts and holiday items such as food and decorations. While not everyone relies on credit, more than 40% of consumers who celebrate the holidays expects to go into debt to pay for gifts and travel.

This year, block the noise and do what your heart says is best for you. With a little planning, smart shopping, and creative ways to earn more, you can start the year feeling more confident and happier about what’s to come.

Tips To Minimize Debt

Talk To Loved Ones

Traditions can be expensive, especially as families grow. This year, consider having a heart-to-heart with your loved ones; be open and honest about how you feel. Each household may be spending hundreds of dollars each year simply to please one another or because it’s what you’ve always done. Talking openly about your hopes for the holidays may bring relief to all.

Reduce Gift Spending

The bulk of spending during the holidays is on gifts for family. Rather than giving each family member a gift, try something different. Coordinate a white elephant gift exchange or draw names for a Secret Santa approach. This change alone can bring big relief to your budget.

Redeem Points

There may be money lying around in a few places and every little bit helps. If your credit card offers rewards, now’s the time to take advantage of those points.

Additionally, if your employer has a wellness program or employee engagement platform, redeem points on those too.

Get A Seasonal Job

If you’re committed to spending more than you can currently afford, consider boosting your income. Turn a hobby into a money stream or apply for a seasonal job. You’ll have extra income and may have access to an employee discount as an added perk. It’s a win-win.

Borrow Wisely

Set on borrowing? Look over your options. If you’re going to pay the balance in full when the statement arrives, use a card that earns cash back or points. If you’re planning to carry a balance, it’s best to go with the option that offers the lowest interest rate. This could be a credit card with a low introductory rate or even a holiday loan.

Sell Duplicate Items

What do you do when you receive something you already have? Maybe your sister thought you could use a crockpot or perhaps your brother bought you new headphones. If you already have the item, you can try selling your old one for cash or getting store credit for the new one.

Save For Next Year

To reduce our dependency on borrowing, it’s best to anticipate the added expenses. Keep your receipts and track your expenses this holiday season. Take the total amount spent and divide by 10 to see what you should save from January to October of next year. For example, if you spend $800 this year, you’ll contribute at least $80 a month to your holiday fund for 10 months to prepare.

A woman staring into a window, there are holiday lights behind her.

Holiday Spending Survival Guide

Use our free Holiday Spending Survival Guide to easily keep track of your budget and following these steps.

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