But Halloween is gone, Thanksgiving is well on its way, and the retailers have been gearing up for weeks to get your attention.
Do you know what your Christmas is going to look like? Have you planned for it?
We’re not talking just the stuff of Christmas… but financially as well. Are you financially ready to support the Christmas vision bouncing around in your head? Does everyone have to have 10 presents under the tree? Do you have to go all out and make your house shine like it belongs in Christmas Vacation?
Avoid Christmas Debt
There’s nothing like sitting around on Christmas morning looking at the torn up gift wrap, the ripped open plastic, and all the toys being played with for 5 minutes then forgotten.
It makes it a lot worse when you realize you’re in over your head in debt to achieve this “amazing” Christmas.
Every year Americans spend more than they can afford on things they don’t really need. In January when the credit card bill comes in January we feel regret, but by the time next Christmas rolls around we’ve forgotten that feeling and repeat the cycle.
Review Last Year’s Christmas
To avoid overspending like you did last year take time to sit down and review last Christmas.
Sit down with the family and ask them if they even remember what they got last year. If it was something major like a brand new LCD television then they’ll probably remember.
But those other gifts? The things you stressed over, dealt with mall parking over, and researched the best price on? Probably forgotten. They might still use the item, but they won’t remember where it came from.
It hammers home the point that going in to debt for a big holiday season is pretty pointless… because you probably won’t remember most of it the next year.
Save Money and Enjoy Christmas More at the Same Time
Here’s a couple of ideas to help you avoid going into credit card debt for Christmas.
Instead of going all out on stuff why not go all out on experiences? It has been shown time and time again that the positive feeling with buying stuff doesn’t last as long as money spent on experiences.
Buying gifts for family you only see once per year is a daunting task. You end up having to call your Aunt to see what your cousin likes so you can buy them a gift pretending as if you knew them really well. Absurd. Instead why not have a family secret santa? Put everyone’s name in the hat and take turns picking. You only buy that person one gift. Take the money that everyone saves on the gifts you didn’t buy and have a nice family dinner, go rent a cabin, or give it to a homeless shelter. Use the extra cash to save money or get a memorable experience.