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Overwhelming Debt During the Holidays: What to Do

Holiday debt can add up as you shop Black Friday sales and find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Many consumers plan to use credit cards to buy presents this year. And some are still paying off holiday debt from the year before.

The holidays do not have to be extravagant and expensive. You can celebrate in simple ways that do not cost money.

6 Tips for Minimizing Holiday Debt

Here are some tips for staying on top of your holiday spending:

1. Stick to a Budget: Make a list of all of the people you want to buy gifts for and the amount of money you have to spend without borrowing. Then, divvy out the money to see how much you can spend on each person. Even if the amount seems small, be creative with your shopping to stick to the budget.

2. Choose Free Activities: While you can take your kids to holiday carnivals and on lavish vacations, you can also stay local and take advantage of free activities. For example, go to your town’s tree lighting and sing carols with the community. Or drive through your favorite neighborhoods to look at holiday lights.

3. Think Sentimental Gifts Over Expensive: Your friends and family do not need you to spend tons of money on luxurious gifts. Instead, you can home-make gifts to add a personal, thoughtful touch.

4. Reduce Waste: Think of all the food that goes to waste during a holiday party—or heating the house when no one is home. Think about ways you can reduce waste and save money during the holidays.

5. Consolidate Your Credit Cards: Combine all of your credit cards into one with a lower interest rate. Then, you can focus on paying down one card.

6. Consider Filing for Bankruptcy: If you are in over your head, it’s okay to ask for help. You may need a fresh slate to start over by filing for bankruptcy.

Trim down your holiday stress by hiring a lawyer to discuss your options. Miles & Hatcher, LLP, can help determine if filing for bankruptcy is the right step. Or perhaps we can assist in communicating with creditors and making a new payback plan.

Call to set up your first appointment: (909) 481-4080.

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