- Use paper, not plastic. Make a list (and check it twice) of everyone you plan to buy presents for and what you can reasonably afford to spend on each person. Withdraw only that amount of cash and stick to your list while shopping. Generally, it’s easier to overspend when using credit cards because you don’t physically see the money coming out of your account. Using cash vs. credit might require some extra thought and planning on your part, but you’ll most likely appreciate having paid for your gifts up front.
- Make a donation in the name of your family or friends. Small children may not appreciate this kind gesture if they normally receive presents from you, but some adults will understand and support your decision to give a gift to someone who may need it more than they do.
- Make gifts at home. If you’re creative, the arts and crafts store is a great place to go for the tools to make nice and inexpensive gifts for everyone on your list. The best part of it all: The gifts come straight from your heart.
- Give your time. Do you have a relative or friend who could use an extra hand with the kids or household chores? If so, offer to help them out — you’ll be giving a gift that money can’t buy.
Buying presents for loved ones is the perfect excuse for charging large amounts on your credit cards, right? Wrong! When it comes to using credit for holiday purchases, it’s best to assess what you can realistically afford to spend before you start shopping.
Here are some alternative ways to give presents to your loved ones and minimize the risk that you will find yourself in a rut when your credit card statement comes.
Instead of making excuses and incurring expenses you cannot afford, decide to cut your spending and celebrate the holidays with less debt. AC: 1111-5267