Americans are far too prone to spend more than we should. This is true for a variety of reasons, but it becomes evident particularly during the holiday season. More than a few Georgia families have spent themselves into bankruptcy through December. That is a gift that no one wants come January. You can take some simple steps to avoid overspending on family and friends this holiday season.
Build a Gift Budget
As a family, sit down together and formulate a gift-buying budget before Christmas. Determine how much of your budget can be used for gifts and divide it up accordingly. Some extended family or workmates may have to be left out. But sticking to your budget and avoiding excessive debt is far more important. If necessary, explain your situation and goals. Others may even be inspired to make a budget themselves.
Determine that you will only make gift purchases when you can pay cash for them. Period. No layaways and no store credit offers. Save up, do without something else and make cash-only purchases. A wise idea is to save money each month into a holiday fund that can be used for gift purchases at the end of the year. Pay money into the fund just like a regular monthly expense. Then use the accumulated cash for gifts.
To help you stick to your spending budget this holiday season and avoid the specter of bankruptcy, consider other gift alternatives. Make homemade crafts or baked goods and use these as gifts. Often, items with a personal touch are valued more than other gifts. If you have items you don’t use that are in great condition, why not re-gift these items to others? No one has to know, and you have avoided unnecessary debt.
Is a heavy debt load or possible bankruptcy already threatening your peace of mind and your family’s future? Call Shepard, Plunkett & Hamilton LLC, Attorneys at Law in Augusta, Georgia. We can help you find alternatives and provide counsel and help.
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