Money Gal Coaching: 4 Tips to Avoid Holiday Shopping Debt

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching with the goal of serving people like her who were in debt. You can get her advice on paying off your debts regularly at Bring Me The News, in addition to the Money Gal Coaching website and Facebook page. Here is his latest story:

I’m not sure about you, but how the hell is Thanksgiving week with Christmas just around the corner? It’s really easy for us to find out, which is why I encourage customers (and anyone I talk to) to save for larger items like vacations all year round.

Thanksgiving is so much more fun when we don’t have to keep up with our normal grocery budget, and Christmas can be a little happier when we don’t worry about credit card debt in January. Here are four tips for avoiding debt while on vacation.

Calculate what you can really afford to spend

We are going to start with a free tool because it helps so much! When I first started budgeting I needed something to break down the scary task of “saving for Christmas” into a realistic and manageable number. This tool will help you answer all your questions such as “How much should I save each month?” Or “how much should I spend on gifts?” “

Following a spending plan, or a budget, is so much easier when we have real numbers that have been created based on what we really want. So if gifts are your language of love, increase spending in this area of ​​your Christmas budget a bit. Maybe you have the best cookie trays and it requires multiple (expensive!) Trips to the grocery store, you can choose to add some cash to it instead.

Create your wishlist

When we open this Amazon browser the sky is the limit and it is easy to overspend. Does your spouse really want another wireless speaker? When we write specific gifts for specific people, not only does it make shopping easier, but we can also seek out offers.

It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to buy a gift for everyone you know. For some people, a simple hug and a merry Christmas is enough. Maybe you grab a bottle of wine you haven’t opened yet in the cupboard or write a hand-made note that says “drinks on us” for a future date. Be creative and remember that gifts don’t always have to come from a large retailer.

Reduce regular expenses in your budget

The best part about vacations is that spending in other areas of our life tends to be reduced because vacations consume so much of our time. I know for us we don’t need that much money for restaurants because we already have holiday plans in place and we tend to go out so much that a night out is sometimes a real treat.

Another way to save money is to buy clothes. If you are really looking for something, add it to your wishlist or buy it yourself with your Christmas budget.

I know it might sound a bit like stealing Peter to pay Paul, but if you save for vacations throughout the year, you’ll have a lot of money by the time Christmas draws near. Not having to fund the normal clothing category in December will seem like a bonus!

Determine your needs versus your wants this year

If you’re late in the game (no shame in that!)

When you have more time to save, you may have more wants in your budget because these additional expenses are spread over a longer period of time. But when we only have a month or two to spare, we probably won’t have enough room in our paycheck to have an extravagant vacation without going into debt.

So I challenge you, just this year, to ask yourself if it’s a need or a want every time you check out. Yes, that includes this decorative new Santa Claus or those earrings for yourself on Black Friday. Let’s pay everything in cash and make a commitment to ourselves to start saving in January for an all-inclusive vacation next year.

Ready to learn more or get started? Book a free call with me and let’s put financial clarity at the top of your priority list this year.

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