5 Magical Tips To Have A Joyful & Debt Free Christmas

5 Magical Tips To Have A Joyful & Debt Free Christmas

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5 Magical Tips To Have A Joyful & Debt Free Christmas

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In the age of social media, the pressure to have the best, most magical Christmas ever is hella high.

Between gifts, parties, and matching PJs, it can feel like you have to spend a ton of money to get into the holiday spirit.

This is crazy, but:

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You can have a magical Christmas without going into debt!

These are my tips:

1.  Create A Christmas Budget

Before you buy gifts or make invitations to your highly anticipated Christmas party, you must make a Christmas budget.

Firstly, go over your current budget and figure out how much money you can realistically spend on Christmas.

Then, simply divvy up the amount of money you can spend during the holidays!

For instance, your Christmas budget might look like this:

  • Gifts – $100
  • Stocking Stuffers – $50
  • Gift Wrap, etc. – $15
  • Party/Parties – $100

To organize your finances and create a realistic Christmas budget, download our Budget Boss Binder and track your spending so you don’t overspend on gifts or cookies!

2.  Start Saving Now

Did you take a look at your budget and find that you can’t afford Christmas gifts and activities without using a credit card?

Don’t worry:  You can still have a debt-free Christmas (with a little work)!

Firstly, take the time to decrease your current monthly expenses to free up some extra cash.

You should:

1.  Sign up for Trim to cut your cable, phone, and WiFi bills in half

2.  Refinance your mortgage, car loan(s), and/or student loans for a lower interest rate

3.  Consolidate your current debt into a personal loan to decrease your interest costs and create one low monthly payment

4.  Switch to Chime Bank (it’s SO simple!) to get rid of all banking fees (and get a FREE $50 gift right now)

Then, once you’ve decreased your monthly expenses you can start putting that saved money aside for the holidays!

You can create and track your savings goals with these printables! (included in our Budget Boss Binder)

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3.  Continue Paying Off Current Debts

If you’re currently in debt (don’t worry, most of us are!), it can feel one of two ways during the holidays:

  1. “I can’t afford anything because I’m already buried in debt!”
  2. “I might as well go crazy, since, well, I’m already buried in debt!”

However, in order to have a debt-free Christmas, you can’t lose track of your debt payoff progress during the holidays!

Use the rest of the tips in this most to keep costs low this holiday season so you can continue to make progress on your debt payoff.

You must:

  • Continue to put as much money as possible towards your debt payoff
  • NOT charge anything else to a credit card

Resist the urge to go spending crazy just because the holidays feel like an excuse to do so (they’re not!).

(Track your debt payoff so you can reward yourself later!)

4.  Don’t Go Overboard

I know, I know.  I must be crazy!

Aren’t the holidays the only time to spoil my kids rotten?!

Here’s the dealio:  Don’t let Instagram pressure you into putting 100+ presents under your tree this year.

Because you and I both know that kids don’t need a ton of stuff to be happy and feel loved.

Instead of buying your kids love this year (I’m kidding! Kind of), use the “Want, Need, Wear, Read” method of Christmas shopping.

It goes like this:

Buy your kiddos four gifts each:  Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

This is the PERFECT way to keep your Christmas budget low without feeling like you’re skimping out on gift-giving.

We’ve been doing this for a few years now and love how much meaning it’s brought back to the holidays.

And, this tip doesn’t only apply to shopping for your kids.

This holiday season, don’t go for the WOW factor.

Go for the AWE factor by putting more thought into one gift instead of a lot of money into many gifts.

Thought over cost, my friends!

5.  Collect Cash Back On Christmas Purchases

When making purchases this holiday season, make sure you earn cash-back whenever possible!

You should sign up for:

  1. Rakuten ($10 Sign-Up Bonus),
  2. Ibotta ($10 Sign-Up Bonus), and
  3. Dosh ($5 Sign-Up Bonus).

Each of these cash-back programs will help you earn money on every qualifying purchase throughout your holiday shopping.

With the money you earn, buy yourself a Christmas gift or pay it forward to your current debt payoff strategy!

What you should do if you must use credit cards for the holidays

These are all great tips to help you have a magical, affordable, and debt-free Christmas.

But, what if you can’t avoid using credit cards this holiday season?

If you find yourself in a pickle and need to use borrowed money, these are my best tips:

  • Open a new credit card with an introductory 0% APR – Avoid getting hit with high-interest costs by paying off your Christmas spending balance ASAP.
  • Take out a personal loan instead – Personal loans often have far lower interest rates than credit cards and could be a good option if you can’t get approved for a low-interest credit card
  • Sit this one out – You should NEVER feel pressured to put yourself into debt in order to afford gifts, parties, etc.  Sit Christmas out this year – or at least the expensive parts of Christmas – so you don’t accrue more debt.

When you use these tips, you’re sure to have a magical and debt-free Christmas this year!

And, don’t ever forget:  The holiday season is about love, family, friends, community, and traditions – not about gifts.

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happy holidays!
– michelle
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