Still Paying for Last Year’s Christmas Presents?

Still Paying for Last Years Christmas PresentsWhile we’re talking about Financial Fitness tips for the holiday shopping season, I feel it’s important to remind you of what may have happened to you last year. My intent being to save you some unexpected grief when the bills roll in after the 1st of the year.

Are you still paying for last years Christmas presents? According to Consumer Reports, last year half of all holiday shoppers used credit cards to make purchases. Of that half, 13% are still paying off those Christmas presents now, just weeks before Christmas 2013.

I know you don’t want to be one of the 13%, (or you don’t want to be one of the 13% again). So I have 4 tips for you to keep you out of debt this holiday season:

#1. Make a Christmas shopping budget.

Get everyone in your family involved. Be sure to include presents, travel costs and food (like parties at your home and stops at restaurants) to set a complete budget.

#2. Avoid buying a gift for each person in your family.

Instead, you can draw names amongst your family members. And you can make this fun, too. Doing this makes the holidays easier for everyone. Then all you need to do is get just one gift for the person you picked. Just remember to set a limit on how much you and every person can spend, so there aren’t any hurt feelings on Christmas.

#3. Use a lay-a-way plan to make purchases.

Most of the major retailers offer a simple to use layaway program. Which helps them make more sales, and helps you do your shopping, without jacking up the credit cards. This way, by the time Christmas is upon us, you’ve got presents for your family, and they are already paid off!

#4. Spend less.

This may seem like an easy tip. But it’s more difficult than you can imagine for some (maybe even you). Make a conscious effort to spend less this year. Make this Christmas season more about the experience, the great time with your family. And not so much about opening presents.

If you embrace these tips, and start training yourself and your family to think like this now, it will be much easier for you to save money in the future.

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