Santa's Red Letter

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Easy Tips for a Debt Free Christmas

Have you ever suffered a Christmas Hangover? Overspending and overindulgence have just become part of what makes Christmas... well Christmas. At least that’s what most retailers would like you to believe.

Here are 10 tips for avoiding the Christmas hangover and keeping, in fact enhancing, the Christmas spirit this year.


Make a List & Check it Twice

Sit down and write out a list of everyone you plan on buying a gift for. Then write out how much you want to spend on each person. If the total is more than you can afford make adjustments as necessary. Having a list will help avoid those last minute buying regrets.


Don’t Forget Your List

Take your Christmas list with you wherever you go shopping. Refer to it often and check off names as you make gift purchases. This will help to hold you accountable and discourage impulse buys.


Start Early

Plan early and avoid the stress, rush and over spending of last minute shopping. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy “the hunt”.


Ditch the Credit Cards

Leave those credit cards at home, they are not your shopping buddy. Using cash is much better. Not only will it limit how much you spend but you’ll be less likely to make impulse purchases.


Shop Online

Many retailers are now offering their best deals online. Most also offer free shipping as well making shopping online a great alternative to long checkout lines and camping out in sub-zero temperatures.


Get Crafty

DIY gifts are becoming a popular alternative to gifts wrapped in china plastic. Not only is a handmade gift more meaningful it can also cost a fraction of what you would spend at a retailer.


One Gift Per Person

Stick to a single, yet thoughtful, gift for everyone on your list. Remember that Christmas isn’t a buffet as much as it a good meal.


Focus on People

If you have kids, teach them that Christmas isn’t about gifts, it’s about people. Show them that the joy of the season comes through caring and giving more so than opening a hoard of presents. Go caroling, take a dinner to a family, visit a nursing home. There are many free things you can do that will give a better return on your investment than spending a fortune at Target.




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