Ways to Avoid Debt at Christmas

Christmas is not only a season of giving but is often a season of increasing personal debt. Many people go overboard with their Christmas spending. There are expenses on everything from the items for the Christmas meal and decorations to the Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. With so many different expenses and so many things to buy, overspending can be easily done. Many people overspend on Christmas and do so with their credit cards.

Debt is not a part of the celebration of Christmas. There is nothing about Christmas that requires people to max out their credit cards. Debt can be avoided during the Christmas season and much easier than many people might think. Here are some simple ways to avoid increasing personal debt during the holiday season.

Use layaway instead of credit cards

Some retailers still offer the practice of layaway. Layaway allows people to select items for purchase and place them on hold for later pick up. Most stores require that layaway items have regular payments and be paid in full by a specific date. Layaway is an excellent means of avoiding debt during the holiday season. One thing to remember is that many retailers have done away with the practice of layaway because most people are using credit cards instead.

Spend cash

Buying Christmas items with cash may not always be possible but it makes the most sense financially. Using cash to make the various Christmas purchases allows the buyer to know where they are in their Christmas budget and to track their spending. Cash is accepted everywhere and is often easier to use than any other form of payment. The use of cash for Christmas will help people to reign in their spending and be smarter about the purchases made.

Resist the temptation to overspend

There is always the temptation to overspend on Christmas. Resist that temptation and practice some simple self control. However, this practice is easier said than done. Be sure to have a set shopping plan in mid before heading to the store and be ready with a backup plan. Many times the best laid plans for the Christmas season go by the wayside.

Leave the credit cards at home

One way to completely eliminate the temptation to spend on the credit cards is to leave them at home. Take the credit cards out of the purse or wallet before heading to the store. There is no way to accumulate additional debt if the credit cards are left at home. Decide on a place to leave them, in the freezer, in a jewelry box or in a concealed jar.  

Be smart with spending during the Christmas season. Avoiding debt is not nearly as hard as many may believe. The simple truth is that avoiding debt during the Christmas season requires some creative thinking, some self discipline and some common sense. Christmas is the season of giving but it does not need to be the season of additional financial burdens.