Avoiding Holiday Debt

Tue, Dec 16, 2014

Bankruptcy, Debt Mitigation

Some rights reserved by jollyUKThe last part of the year brings much joy and excitement. Presents, food, drink, parties, festivities, events, activities, and more abound. There is always something to do..always with a hint or more of excess. Between the holiday parties with friends and the festivities you have planned on your own you can’t escape spending some money at the holiday season…regardless of the holiday you choose to celebrate.

How can you avoid increasing your debt load to an unsafe level? Careful planning, moderation, good choices, and a little bit of luck and good fortune are key.

Careful planning

Make a list of all the gifts you need.  Make sure you get everyone, even down to the mail carrier or your hairdresser. Be very aware of your budget for gifts. Make sure you consider the wrapping paper, bows, and ribbons too. And not to mention postage! Don’t forget how much it will cost you to get your presents to those far away relatives.

Then think about the food you’ll need for your own festivities or other parties you will attend. Consider everything from food and drink to serving utensils, leftover containers, and favors if you have your own party.

Decorating isn’t always in everyone’s plans…but if it is in yours make sure you know what you already have so that you don’t buy the same thing you bought last year. If you’ve chosen carefully, your decorations could last year after year so make sure you know your existing stock.

Moderation

Once you work out the details of what you need for the holidays, make sure you aren’t overspending. It’s fun to go to excess at the holidays and most everyone does in some area of spending, but make sure you aren’t overspending everywhere and be very careful with your budgeting. Make a list of the necessities and cover those before you head on to the less necessary items. Do you really need five different colors of sparkly ribbon? Alternatively, could you settle for a roll of red ribbon from the discount store and then spend that extra money left over somewhere else.

Good Choices

Are you spending money where it counts? Are you creating memories that will last a lifetime or providing quick thrills that will amuse for a short time. In addition, are you picking out the gifts you want for your child or what your child wants? Sometimes you might be better off spending more on the gift they really want and getting less overall. Weigh these ideas carefully. Make sure you shop around too…prices vary so much from store to store that a little planning could help you make the best choices for your purchases. In addition, do you need to bring the most expensive bottle of wine everywhere? Alternatively, could you choose that good bottle for the most important party and then a less expensive bottle for the others? For instance, the hostess gift for your boss’s party is probably more important than the one for the neighbor who you have only met once. You don’t need to wow everyone-you can be generous without going overboard.

Luck

Luck comes into play in life more than you think. Finding that good sale, meeting the right friends, avoiding the most expensive event, getting the best recipe just in time, or having a treasure trove of white elephant gifts for the gift exchange.

Don’t let your desire for the perfect holiday put you in the poor house. Because there won’t be any warm holiday memories there. This holiday doesn’t need to outdo all holidays if this isn’t the year you feel the most flush. Homemade gifts, desserts, cards, and parties can be just as fun as the glamorous night at the country club.

Attorney Christopher D. Smith, Sr. is designated a Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyer by the American Board of Certification.  SmithLaw is located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.  Attorney Smith concentrates on bankruptcy, civil litigation, probate, estate planning, and elder exploitation cases in the Sarasota and Bradenton area.  Call 941-202-2222 to learn more.  SmithLaw offers free consultations in certain areas, including consumer bankruptcy, probate, and personal injury matters.

Image: Some rights reserved by jollyUK

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