How to Control Your Debt this Holiday Season

Posted on 11/19/2009

Giving gifts is one of the best parts of the holidays. But sometimes giving gifts turns from being a blessing to others to becoming a curse on your finances. Don’t let over-spending steal any happy from your holidays. Give yourself a gift this Christmas season by following a few rules for controlling your debt.

Save Up - You may be getting a little bit of a late start on this step, but you know what they say—better late than never. Sell a few things on eBay or Craigslist and give up some unnecessary spending to contribute to a holiday gift account. That way, you’ll be spending cash on gifts instead of using credit cards.

Make a List - Write down the names of everyone you need to get a gift for. Set a budget for each person and follow it. Having this holiday budget down on paper will help you prevent over-spending.

Stick to Your Budget - You know that budget you just created? Stick to it. If ever your family would understand a lack of extravagant gifts, this Christmas season would be it. Everyone understands the new financial strains that so many people are experiencing. Make this Christmas more about giving simply than just simply giving.

Focus on Others - When you hit the mall—or the web—to find your Christmas gifts, resist that strong urge to buy a little gift for yourself. By keeping the focus on others you’ll spend less.

Try DIY - As much as people knock them, homemade gifts can be charming and useful. Do a little online research and find some great ideas for handmade gifts that will cost much less than their store bought counterparts. has hundreds of DIY how-to’s that don’t require tons of skill, time, or money.

Comparison Shop - Do your research and comparison shop for Christmas gifts. Look for online coupons on sites like The Bargainist and Buy through shopping portals like that will give you cash back on your gift purchases. Spending a little bit of time researching your gift list will keep you from spending too much and from racking up unnecessary debt this holiday season.

By Alison Storm

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Miss Messycovers

Posted on 11.20.09 at 4:32 AM

Oh! Oh! I've got one! Don't charge anything. duh.

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