Whether you are in the middle of bankruptcy or trying to avoid it, saving money during the holiday season is crucial. With the sobering thought of bankruptcy on your mind, every penny suddenly counts. If you are not careful with your holiday spending habits, you may be stuck in a mountain of debt when the New Year rolls around.
But if you plan correctly and stay diligent, you and your wallet can make it through the winter holidays. Follow these frugal holiday guidelines to avoid financial woes.
1. Determine your budget first
You may be in the habit of making a list of people for which to buy gifts. Then, when you are at a store or shopping mall, you pick out presents for these individuals. However, this strategy makes it easy to overspend. Instead, your first step should be to create a budget. Then, you can divide the spending amount adequately. Make sure you account for all holiday expenses, such as home decorations, party favors or postage for greeting cards.
2. Use cash instead of cards
It is easy to swipe your card for a transaction and ignore the fact that you may be spending a little too much. This is why you may want to stick with a cash-only spending rule. Withdraw the designated amount and only use that for holiday purchases. Once the money is gone, you should be done shopping.
3. Give your time
You do not need to provide everyone on your list with a physical giftbox. Do not forget that intangible gestures are valuable too. For example, you may offer to walk a dog or babysit for a friend who is incredibly busy. Another idea is taking an elderly family member for a neighborhood stroll. Your time and presence are the most important things to your loved ones this holiday. These gifts are priceless.