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  • Writer's pictureDave Fullerton

Have a Credit Free Christmas

The holidays can be stressful, especially if we're not financially prepared for them. The last thing anyone needs during their most joyous occasion is worrying about how they'll get through the new year.

With a bit of planning, there are a few ways you can make sure your holidays are stress and credit-free. Here are five tips to make sure you stay credit free this Christmas.

Manage Your Expectations.

With the hustle and bustles of Christmas, it might be hard to keep your head up. All this happiness surrounds you, but you can't help feeling anxious about money because there's just too much that needs doing without any extra funds.

To keep the holidays the special time of year they are, consider deciding your expectations before to make it easier to work towards things that create that result, and don't put time into things that don't. Maybe this means a holiday party you couldn't afford or a present you could buy without buying.

Determine Your Goals.

Have you guys thought about what your goal is for the holidays? Maybe it's time to plan an extravagant black-tie party or a low-key celebration with family and friends. It all works! Just remember that talking about this ahead of time puts everyone in line with how they want things done, so there aren't any surprises. Everyone can then budget accordingly.

Create a Budget.

Once you have decided your expectations and goals for a holiday, create a budget that works for you. Look at your monthly budget and plan accordingly. List everything you need to purchase, from presents, decorations, food, or event tickets.

Start early! Sure, it's already December, but this year can be your trial run to plan your next Christmas budget. Try buying the things on sale after the 25th, and keep buying gifts consistently throughout the year. This way, you will feel more prepared, and your budget will also be.

Don't Fear Help

The holidays are when we are supposed to share experiences and support each other. If you are hosting a dinner this year, don't be afraid to ask your family for help, everyone could bring a side or get the drinks. Or, if you are buying gifts for friends, perhaps you can mutually set a budget or challenge each other to make something by hand. Homemade gifts often can feel more special and create a fun exchange for you and your friends.

Bottom Line

It is easy to get caught up in the consumerism and expectations of the holidays. Is dinner perfect? Did you buy enough gifts? Did you invite everyone? Is everyone happy?

But don't forget yourself in your efforts to please others.

Even though the holidays can feel hectic, it is important to celebrate and be grateful for what you have – even if you can't check off all the boxes. Life happens, but the most important thing is that we live it while we can. So don't let your budget wear you down.

Your holiday is just that –yours. Spend it in whichever way brings you the most joy and the least amount of stress on your pocketbook.


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