Avoiding post-holiday debt

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People who take on debt over the holiday period often end up having to deal with it past the new year if they can’t pay it off in time. To avoid lingering debt and start your new year on a clean state, consider these tips to manage your finances effectively over the holidays.

Set a budget:
Setting a budget in time for the holidays is one of the best ways you can avoid overspending on things you don’t need and splurging on gifts. Calculate how much you can really afford to spend over the holiday period, and make a list of everyone you want to buy a gift for and see how much you can spend on each person. Also consider travel, food, and party expenses. Remember to continually refer back to your budget and make sure you stay on target.

Be smart about holiday decorations:
If you don’t have a need for early decorations, consider waiting to buy them until it’s closer to Christmas. Often, retailers are trying to get rid of them before the holiday period starts, and will put them on discount. For even better bargains, shop for decorations after Christmas and save them for the next year.

Shop online early:
If you plan to make online purchases for some gifts, make sure you place your orders early. This will give you time to compare the prices of different retailers both online and in-store instead of rushing to buy a product that could be cheaper elsewhere so that it comes in time. Placing your order early also means that you won’t have to spend extra money on express shipping.

Cut down on other costs:
Get creative and think about the different ways you can trim costs on other aspects of your life to give yourself some extra money to comfortably cover holiday expenses. Think about how much you spend on eating out, entertainment, buying coffee, or ordering a ride instead of walking. Curbing expenses on these luxuries can be an opportunity to focus on your health and experience activities you may not usually do, such as cooking a healthy meal with friends, having a movie night at home, taking a caffeine detox, and taking long walks.

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