Holiday Survival Guide

How to keep your finances out of the red during the holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year – but without the proper planning the holiday season can bring a significant amount of stress and financial strain to your life. In order to avoid a holiday debt hangover, Consolidated Credit offers a clear plan to help you plan for your holiday spending each year.

Don’t let concerns about money put a damper on your holiday celebrations. Read this handy Holiday Survival Guide and download the PDF to help you get through the season successfully. If you face problems with holiday debt, or want to address current money troubles, Consolidated Credit can help. Call us today at to speak with a trained credit counsellor or request a free Debt & Budget Analysis.

Plan for Success

Smart shoppers get ahead of holiday costs and avoid debt by planning ahead. By planning your shopping early and effectively anticipating holiday costs, you can easily make your family’s holiday special without burying yourself in a pile of year-end credit card debt.

The following strategies can help you maximize your holiday savings and minimize your holiday stress:

  1. Read our Holiday Survival Guide in full and use our Holiday Spending Checklist to create an accurate holiday spending plan.
  2. Comparison shop online to find the best price for each gift or item on your holiday spending list.
  3. As you go about your holiday spending, be sure to check purchased items off your list to avoid doubling up on gifts and making any unnecessary purchases.
  4. Compare advertised prices to any Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale prices you find. Many retailers start advertising these sales as early as October.
  5. If there is no financial benefit to waiting until Black Friday or Cyber Monday, purchase these items now instead of leaving them until the last minute.

Managing Your Holiday Cash Flow

Now that you have completed your Holiday Spending Plan and gained a clear picture of what the holiday season is going to cost, you can now begin to balance your spending expectations with your available cash flow. Balancing your holiday budget is an important step to help you avoid overspending or credit cards and minimize your holiday debt hangover.

Ideally, your holiday costs will be less than your available cash flow. But don’t be surprised if you are “in the red” when you first compare the two numbers. Don’t panic! If this is the case, you can easily find ways to either adjust your holiday spending or increase your available cash flow to balance your budget.

The following tips can help you strike a balance with your holiday spending:

General

Gifts

Travel

Decorations

Meals

Guests

Shipping

Track Your Spending

Planning ahead and making a holiday budget are great steps towards holiday success. But you need to track your spending in order to avoid the holiday debt hangover. Tracking the actual costs of your holiday purchases allows you to stay on the right path with your holiday spending.

After every item you purchase on your list, make sure to write down the actual cost of the item so you can keep a running total of your real holiday costs. You may also wish to write down how each item was paid for so you can determine what you put on credit.

Managing Holiday Debt

Once the gifts are all opened, and the leftovers are packed away, you will need a plan to stay in control of your holiday debt.

By planning ahead and tracking your expenses, you can now get a clear picture of the impact of these expenses on your credit card bills.

To calculate the increase on your credit card bills, add the amount of money you spent to the current balance on each credit card. Then you can use a debt calculator to determine what your new monthly payment will be on your next bill. Compare this to your current minimum monthly payment to see how much these new charges increased each bill. You can also use the debt calculator to help determine the best way to pay off each debt.

Ideally, if you can pay off all your holiday charges in the first month they are incurred, you will minimize any added interest charges.

Additional Resources

If you total up the charges and see there is going to be a problem eliminating the debt or keeping up with your bill payments, you may find you need help getting out of debt. If you need assistance to handle your holiday debt hangover or want to re-establish a healthy financial outlook, Consolidated Credit is here to help. Call us at or request a Free Debt Analysis.

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc has been verified as the owner or operator of the Web site located at www.consolidatedcredit.ca. Official records confirm Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc as a valid business. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

We are a proud member of the Canadian Association of Credit Counselling Services (CACCS), the national voice for not-for-profit credit counselling services. As a CACCS member, you can trust that our trained credit counsellors strive to provide the best in professional, independent and unbiased personal finance services. We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of Canadians find relief from debt. Call us today to find out if we can help you.

Consolidated Credit Counseling of Canada is proud to be a member and support the Toronto Board of Trade. Founded in 1845, the Toronto Board of Trade is Canada’s largest local chamber of commerce. We share their vision, passion and commitment to serving the community and to foster economic and social welfare of the City of Toronto. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

We are proud members of the Ontario Association of Credit Counseling Services (OACCS). OACCS sets the standard of required expertise for the financial counseling industry and the only organization to offer the exclusive professional designation of Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada (AFCC). With over 500,000 people helped, you can be assured that we can find the right solution for you. Call us today.

Time tested and customer trusted. Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc has been a BBB Accredited Business since 2008 and has a current A+ rating. Call us today and see what we can do for you.

View the Consolidatedcredit.ca review status

AFCC (Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada)

AFCC (Accredited Financial Counsellor Canada) is a distinguished professional designation, indicating that a counsellor has successfully completed the program and has specialized knowledge, unique skills and expertise as a qualified Credit Counsellor.

You can save!

With this amount of debt, you'd pay around $xx.xx on a DMP.

FREE Debt Consultation