All I Want is a Debt-Free Holiday

Even Frosty knows that it’s easy to lose control and overspend during the holidays. Don’t let your budget meltdown this year by following these handy tips for holiday budgeting.

Start by setting an overall budget for the holidays. Make sure to consider gifts, stocking stuffers, decorations, additional travel costs, and groceries. Once you know your overall budget make a list of everyone you buy for and set a dollar limit for each person making sure to not go over your budget. Consider asking family and friends to draw names for gifts to cut down on the spending. Each family member draws a name and shops for only that person. Set a limit on the dollar value that can be spent. Stop shopping once you’ve marked everyone off your list and resist the urge to pick up “just one more thing”.

Stocking stuffers are a fun tradition, but they can add up quickly, and finding affordable stocking stuffers can be tricky. Remember to stick to your budget. Consider choosing one “awesome” item, that doesn’t break the bank, like the stuffed animal they wanted, and then fill the stocking around it with smaller, much less expensive items like food, small games, crafts, or toys. Consider shopping at Dollar Store or other discount stores for these items.

Groceries can throw your budget off quickly especially considering the rising costs. Check flyers or online for deals. Plan meals ahead of time so you buy only what you need and you don’t waste anything.

Don’t forget to plan for New Years Eve.  Consider buying secondhand for a “new to you” outfit or borrowing from a friend instead of buying new. Hosting a party? Consider a potluck. Have everyone bring a dish or a bottle of wine to cut down on your grocery spending. Dig out your New Year’s decorations from last year and reuse them or choose a New Years' theme party like Hawaiian and have everyone bring a decoration. 

We understand that most consumers will use credit to pay for the holidays. If you don’t already have a plan to pay off holiday debt, then now is the time to make one. Tracking what you spend this holiday season can help you better plan for next year. By calculating the total you spent (gifts, groceries, travel, wrapping, alcohol etc.) you can budget what you need to save each month in 2022 for Christmas 2022. Systematically saving each month allows you to plan for the future and stay in control.  

Remember that spending time with family and friends is the true meaning of Christmas. In the famous words of the Grinch:

It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

Don’t forget to follow Ted our furry mascot on Salyzyn Instagram @mydebtfix for “Ted’s 25 Days of Holiday Saving Tips”.