Last year, Americans found themselves in debt averaging around $1,073 after the holiday season! According to a study done by Magnify Money, 1 out of every 4 Americans will be in holiday debt in 2016. That, on top of other debt obligations, can cause a lot of financial stress for the average family. Many times, unassuming consumers don’t realize just how long it will take to pay off their holiday spending sprees. They make goals to have everything paid off by the end of January, but more often than not, shoppers find themselves paying off holiday debt for several months, and sometimes even years.
Imagine planning your holiday spending, while still worrying about paying off your debt from the previous year! This reality is true for many, but it doesn’t have to be for you.
There are many ways to survive the holidays without going into debt; it just takes a bit of planning, and a lot of self-control.
Prepare for January
When January finally arrives, there is a sense of relief felt by most. Finally, the holiday season is over and the stress can subside. New beginnings, right?
Wrong. That’s is, if you’re dealing with credit card debt.
Receiving that December credit card statement can hit you like a ton of bricks, and all of a sudden your new year’s goals of traveling and experiencing new things becomes completely overshadowed by last year’s debts and how you’re going to pay them back.
Go into your holiday shopping with January in mind. Don’t let the new year sneak up on you and catch you off guard. Budget and plan for a financially stress free 2017; your spending habits will follow suit.
Think about Side Gigging
One of the most practical ways to afford holiday spending is to make more money, and fortunately, this is completely doable. This time of year is full of seasonal work opportunities that can benefit your spending budget, and offer flexible hours to fit your schedule.
Now working an extra job may not be ideal, but on a temporary basis the extra work could be a less expensive option than taking out loans or using credit that accrues interest. Work hard now and enjoy the rest of your year later!
Don’t Become Another Statistic
Remember, as you’re starting your holiday shopping, knowledge is power. Holiday sales are expected to jump by 3% in 2016, and consumers are predicted to spend more than ever, with 14% of consumers forecasted to spend more than the previous year. With that being said, since average American incomes have yet to see a huge increase, we can expect that holiday debt will also be extremely high. Don’t allow the draw of sales and big ticket items to ruin your financial standing. Although credit cards are the preferred method of paying for gifts, change things up; only pay in cash.
Debt is burdensome and no one wants it lingering over their heads. Go into 2017 with no additional debt due to holiday spending, and start your year off on a great foot!