About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:

Ten Ways To Stay Out of Debt This Holiday Season

By Erik Folgate

Have you made it your goal to stay out of debt this holiday season, or are you already calling your credit card companies to raise your credit limit? My advice is to pay for everything with cash this holiday season. You won’t regret your spending come January and February, and you won’t pay for the items three times over by carrying a credit card balance on them. It’s one thing if you charge $1,000 on your credit card, but you make $6,000 or $7,000 a month. But if you make $4,000 a month, then you’ll probably be carrying that credit card balance for quite a few months. But, let’s stop thinking about the numbers, and start thinking about what debt does to your life. It adds more stress to your life, more risk, and it takes some of the fun out of owning something when it’s financed. So, don’t suck all of the fun out of Christmas, and pay cash for your gifts! Here are ten ways that you can stay out of debt this Christmas and still finish your shopping list.

  1. Sell some stuff on craigslist or ebay to help fund your gifts fund
  2. Prioritize your gift list and put a set amount of money you will spend on each person.
  3. Get creative and make gifts for acquaintances like bosses, co-workers, your hair dresser, or children’s teachers.
  4. Perform a service to someone as your gift. If you have your own company, give someone a free session of whatever service you perform or give someone a free pass to go out while you watch their kids. People will love this stuff, because they know it’s genuine, thoughtful, and worth a lot of money when you think about how much your time is worth.
  5. Use your bonus to buy gifts. I’ll be doing this. We get a Christmas bonus every year at my work, and I always set the whole amount aside for gifts.
  6. Spend time with loved ones. Setting aside a weekend at the beach or in the mountains might be the best gift you could give to a best friend, parent, or sibling. Pick a time later in the year for you both to go away, that way you can save up for that event and not go into debt doing it. Or, you can just plan a day to spend with loved ones if they live closer to you.
  7. Avoid the pitfalls of Black Friday. You can shop on black friday, but be strategic. Don’t buy stuff you didn’t plan on buying
  8. Plan holiday events that are cost effective. If you do less expensive things with your family around the holidays, then you’ll have more time for gifts. Picnics and parties are great things to do that don’t cost much.
  9. Buy stuff online. Most online retailers are offering free shipping, and if you order early enough, you’ll get the packages just in time.
  10. Do a secret santa with best friends. Instead of buying something for every best friend, pick names out of a hat, and get one nice thing for each person.

Please remember that spending a ton of money on gifts just to look like a good gift giver is not the reason for the season. Your spirit and intention for giving to others is the secular reason for this season. Remember that as you wade through a sea of shoppers Come November 23rd.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

Related Articles

  • http://debtprison.net barry b.

    Nice article. I’ve decided to keep number of presents down to just a three people. And I’ve decided exactly how much I will spend – i’ve got the cash on hand.

  • http://www.quadrantvehicles.com used vans girl

    Great posting. I like the secret Santa idea its a great idea not just for Christmas but for peoples birthdays in work also. Thanks

  • author

    yeah, the secret santa thing works well if you have 4 or 5 best friends but you don’t live in the same city. Then, you can focus on one person and only pay for one shipping cost.

  • http://www.sfi4.com/12993645/FREE Maurice Dillapree

    Have you heard of Strong Future International? I just signed up as an

    affiliate with them 9 months ago. One of the things I really like is

    that they allow you to “test drive” their program FREE for as long as

    you want. I also like that they’ve been in business since 1985.

    SFI is a Top-Rated online business backed by the Better Business Bureau.

    You just have to work smart, follow instructions and make the effort to

    succeed because this home business opportunity works (only if you do).

    In fact, I’d love it if you’d do the free test drive, too.

    You’d be part of my “sales team,” and we could work together to build

    our businesses and make some money.

    So, If you are SERIOUS about starting your own Home Business. Check Us Out!

    For more information email me at [email protected] and have a Great Day!

The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.

Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.