Personal Finance Round-Up: Planning a Debt Free Christmas

It seems in the past decade, Christmas has gone from feelings of excited anticipation to dread. It used to be something that we all looked forward to because it meant we got to spend time by the fire out of the cold with our families, got to eat big delicious meals, and could exchange heartfelt gifts with those we care about. Now, it has simply turned into loads of stress wrapped in a big price tag.

While some things have changed in a good way since the market crash of 2008 with more people focusing on saving their money and preparing for Christmas well in advance, it still feels like we are treated more like consumers during this time of year and less like people, with shopping ads and price cuts constantly bombarding us.

Well, things don’t have to be that way. We can still enjoy Christmas like it used to be. No Debt Plan, in Prepare and Plan Christmas 2010, has some great tips on ways to save for Christmas, avoid Christmas debt, and enjoy the holiday like it was meant to be enjoyed.

This isn’t the only great article this week; check out these other holiday hits:

8 Ways to Reduce Your Shipping Costs
Some of the best deals this year will be found online, but with shipping costs constantly rising, will these online deals be a way to save money or just break even? These tips can help make those online buys worth it. [Money Help for Christians]

10 Online Shopping Traps to Avoid
While we are doing our online Christmas shopping, we need to be aware of some of the pitfalls the online world has introduced. Scams, bogus deals, and other traps are becoming more of a problem year after year. Reduce the stress this season and be prepared by checking out these online shopping tips. [Kiplinger]

Avoiding Lifestyle Inflation To Retire Wealthy
The holidays are a time that can easily open the doors to lifestyle inflation, but with these tips in mind and by focusing on your end goals, you can stifle lifestyle inflation and still enjoy life to the fullest. [Do Not Wait]

Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating
Gifts aren’t the only things that cost you during Christmas time. Decorating can cost a bundle and be an exhausting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Check out this post and video to learn how to decorate with style and not break the bank. [Wise Bread]

How To Save Money on Cheap Batteries–Rechargeable Batteries & Charger Worth It?
Almost everything you will be shopping for this Christmas will require electricity to power it, be it with a wall charger, car charger or batteries. Check out these tips to keep those battery powered gadgets running strong this year. [My Two Dollars]

5 Ways to Save Money this Christmas
There are more ways to save at Christmas than by just shopping with coupons. Check out these ideas that are a little different and see if you can enjoy Christmas just a little bit more this year by simplifying your plans. [Money Ning]

10 Things That You Didn’t Know Were Tax Deductible
Like it not, Tax Day is coming and will be here before you know it. If you run your own business, you’d better check out this list to make sure you are claiming all of your deductions, no matter how weird these may be. [My Next Buck]

Hostess Gift Ideas for Holiday Parties
Being invited to holiday parties is great, but along with the invite comes the obligation to bring a gift to the party for the host. Here are some frugal gift ideas you can bring so you can enjoy yourself and not look like a cheapskate! []

Black Friday: Is the Hassle Worth the Savings?
The biggest shopping day of the year is fast approaching: Black Friday. Will you be standing in the icy cold lines to get your hands on the hottest gifts at the best prices this year? It may not be worth your time so be sure to plan ahead. These tips can help. [Get Currency]

Christmas on a Budget
Ever wondered what Christmas was like back before there were so many electronic gadgets flooding our lives with beeps, blips, and tiny lights? Check out this Christmas idea called the Pioneer Christmas and see for yourself. [Money Funk]

(photo credit: allerleirau)