Do you dread seeing your January credit card statements each year? No wonder so many of us want to hibernate throughout the winter. No one wants to face the facts that they overspent during the months of November and December. If you want this year to be different, you've come to the right place. Whether you choose to scale back or use what you have, you can have a debt-free Christmas.
First things first. Many of get into the bad habit of thinking we need to buy a gift for everyone. This couldn't be further from the truth. Instead of buying gifts for everyone in your life, buy gifts only for those that are close to you. Another great tip is to draw names for people outside your immediate family. This greatly cuts the amount of money you'll need to spend on gifts.
Set a Budget
Once you've decided who you want to buy gifts for, set a budget. The reason you need a budget is it's so easy to spend a little here and little there and, before you know it, you've spent a lot more than you meant to. Set a budget for everything from decorating to Christmas dinner to gifts. When buying gifts on a budget, gift cards are great because you can choose the exact amount you want to spend.
Leave the Credit Cards at Home
During the months of November and December, you want to leave your credit cards at home (if you have them). You may think you can avoid temptation, but many people often give in to a great sale. Don't let yourself be tempted. Leave your credit cards at home and avoid signing up for new credit cards as a way to save a bit of money.
Give Family Gifts
Instead of buying a gift for every member of your sister's family, why not buy a family gift? Family gifts can save you so much money. For example, instead of spending $50 each on four people, spend $100 and buy one really nice gift the entire family can enjoy. This also makes Christmas shopping much, much easier.
Use What You Have
Last, but not least, instead of buying new decorations for your home, use what you have. Chances are your attic or basement is loaded with decorations from previous years. Go through what you have and find the pieces you love. Remember that you can also upcycle the decorations you no longer like using a can of spray paint.
You don't have to go into massive debt each and every Christmas. There are so many ways you can save money so that you don't have to use credit cards.