On average during the 2017 Holiday season, Americans spent $906 per person and the country’s retail sales top $3 trillion during the holiday season every year. All of that to say, a lot of Christmas gifts will be purchased on credit, and an accumulation of credit results in debt. So how can you stay out of debt this holiday season?
1. Be Budget Conscious
Probably the #1 thing you can do to prevent overspending and going into debt during the holidays is to set a budget and be diligent in keeping it. Know exactly what you can spend, on whom, and for what and stick to your plan.
Yes, the holidays are the season of giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to incur huge financial debts just to give gifts. Give within your means even if it means cutting out some gifts or going a little bit smaller in your gift giving.
2. Be Patient with Your Purchases
As soon as the calendar turns to November, Black Friday deals start flying all over the internet and through retailers across the country. If you’re able to nab some of those “to die for” gift deals, then you’ll likely save some serious money. On the other hand, retailers also realize that there are many shoppers waiting on better deals and fewer crowds.
If you have gifts in mind, then watch retailers closely to cash in on flash sales, “days of savings,” and other holiday sales tactics to save money on your holiday shopping.
3. Avoid Buying for Yourself
Over half of the 300 million Americans spend upwards of $100 on themselves each holiday season. And why not? You’ve worked hard all year to make your earnings, so you deserve to treat yourself right? Not so fast.
The Holidays are about giving, so if you have family members or friends who are giving you gifts, then ask them to buy the things you want or need. Avoid the holiday self-spending and put that money towards either your Christmas budget or for after Christmas sales.
4. Don’t Use Credit Cards
Credit cards seem like the logical choice for buying Christmas gifts, but if you’re trying to avoid debt during the holidays then they’re best off left at home. Since you’ve already created a budget, then you know what you can spend so use cash, checks, or debit cards as much as possible to avoid having to use credit.
One helpful tip is to actually leave your credit cards locked away at home. Every time you pull out a debit card or cash to pay for something, you’ll think twice about making that purchase.
5. Buy Experiences, not Stuff
One way to save during the holidays is to focus your spending on holiday traditions, experiences, and time with friends and family. Focusing more on these things and spending your money there will lessen your gift spending while making the experience with your friends and family far more enjoyable and valuable.
A family dinner out or a night on the town may be well worth your money and will give you and your family holiday memories for years to come. Gifts are temporal, but memories will last a lifetime.
By staying out of debt this holiday season you’ll be sitting pretty come the new year if you’re ready to buy. We’re ready when you are, giving Tidewater Mortgage Services Inc. a call today!