Avoid holiday debt before it starts

You remember the last really good party you went to? And that extra glass of wine and ignoring the late hour seemed completely justifiable. How about the  self-talk? I work hard! I deserve to have fun! That, of course, seemed completely reasonable until the day after. Then, in the light of day, the decisions from the night seem a little less sensible. The other problem, of course, is that the hangover lasts longer than the actual party.

The same could be said for holiday shopping and debt. So, before you head down the road of poor judgement, let’s think about avoiding a holiday debt hangover.


Don’t wait until January

Who says you have to pay January bills in January? If you are accumulating debt to fund your holiday shopping (which you sometimes have to do, say if you are shopping online) commit to putting the equal amount of cash down. You erase that debt before it even begins- not to mention avoiding interest charges!

Keep track

Your best line of defence against overblown debt? Knowing what you’re up against so that you can formulate your plan. Before you rack up on holiday spending, get all of your statements out and make detailed notes of what you already owe.  If you are planning on adding to that debt pile, make sure that you’ve got wiggle room in your budget to cover it.

Don’t buy for yourself

No question, it is super hard to keep on walking when you are out holiday shopping and you stumble across a real deal, or something really, really catches your eye. However, the whole point of holiday shopping is to buy things for others. Getting yourself a treat will only add to your expenses. Make note of where it is, and drop heavy hints when you get home. Maybe you’ll receive it as a gift yourself!