With each passing year, Canadians spend more on Christmas gifts and holiday preparations than the year before. Some of them are borrowing money through credit cards or payday loans to make ends meet then find themselves saddled with unwanted debt when the season is over.
Many Canadians, and not just ones from low-income households, but from all income levels, throw out the rules when it comes to spending their money at Christmas time.
Here are some tips on how to wake up on New Year’s Day in the black this year.
SET A BUDGET
It’s easy to let your emotions guide your purchasing decisions at Christmas time, but determine how much you can afford to spend and stick to that limit. Going into debt for holiday gifts is not worth it.
MAKE A LIST
When setting your budget, make a list of who you need to buy for and what gifts you are buying for each person. If you find you are going over budget, consider buying gifts that are less
expensive or trimming some of the less essential recipients from your list.
One of the best ways to control your spending is to keep your credit card at home and use only cash. Withdraw the total amount that you had budgeted for and use it for all your purchases. As your wallet begins to empty, you will be forced to make better spending decisions.
Thrift shops and online buy, sell and trade sites are great places to find unique gifts that match the interests of the people on your shopping list. Best of all, you will pay prices that are a fraction of those in retail stores.
LOOK FOR DEALS
You don’t have to do all of your Christmas shopping in one day. Wait for sales so you can snag your gifts at reduced prices, but shop around to make sure you’re getting the best price because not all sales offer the best value.