It can be hard to stick to a tight budget all the time, especially for the prolonged periods that come with getting out of substantial debt. That’s why it’s so tempting for many to throw caution to the wind during the holidays. With careful planning, it’s possible to enjoy the season without breaking the bank.
Getting out of debt is hard, but staying out of debt can be easy, especially when you’re careful with your money. It starts with small steps, like avoiding overspending during the season of giving.
Make a List, Check it Twice
If you take the time to do research online to develop a list of what you want to buy for whom, you can avoid the temptation of adding “one more thing” to the shopping cart. In fact, if you start far enough in advance, you may be able to get free shipping on an online shopping order. This will save you the discomfort of the mall in the crazy shopping holiday season and can help prevent overspending
Think Local, Really Local
In our highly commercialized culture, the tendency has become to buy, buy, buy, to the point where we’ve lost sight of the joy that can come from simply being together. This year, instead of going into more debt to spend money you don’t have on presents, consider making a gift of your time.
Invite a friend you don’t often see over for a home-cooked meal, bake (nut-free) cookies for your child’s teacher instead of buying yet another coffee mug or offer to shovel your mom’s walkway for the entire month of January instead of buying a gift.
Put Down the Credit Card
Once you get in the habit of pulling out a credit card for something you can’t afford, it gets a little easier to do the next time. And the next time. Before you know it, your debt can spiral out of control. Make this your new holiday motto: “If I can’t pay cash, I can’t afford it.” Next year, start setting aside a little extra money at every pay period, so you have something extra in time for the holidays.
Getting out of debt doesn’t have to be painful. At D. Thode & Associates Inc., we can do more than just help you in our capacity as a licensed insolvency trustee. We can also work with you to help develop a better relationship with money through credit counselling and the development of consumer proposals to help you get out of debt. Contact us today to get started!