(TORONTO, ON) – It’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of giving and overspend during the holidays. The temptation to buy can be pretty tough on the wallet, and leave you with some hefty bills to pay off in 2013. With a little planning, and following the tips on this infographic, the holidays can be nice on your budget this year.
“The holidays can create a great deal of stress and worry for those who over extend themselves and let their spending spiral out of control,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “Setting a realistic budget, and looking at alternatives to material gifts can go a long way towards enjoying a joyful and stress free holiday season.”
To help Canadians avoid the stress of Holiday debt, and keep their budgets on the nice list, Consolidated Credit offers these tips to keep spending under control:
- Make a List & Check it Twice: Make a list of everyone you plan to purchases a gift for. After creating your list, give it another look and determine if you can eliminate anyone from this year’s list.
- Set a Budget and Stick to It: Now that you have a good idea of who you need to buy gifts for, set a realistic limit on how much you will spend on each person and stick to it.
- Cash Is King: One of the best ways to stick to a budget is to pay cash for everything. Shopping with cash makes it difficult to overspend – and once it’s gone, stop shopping.
- Practice Safe Plastic: If it you must make purchases with credit, pay it off on time. The longer it takes to pay off the debt, the more interest accumulates. Use a credit card debt calculator to determine how long it will take to pay off the holiday balances.
- Learn from last year: If it took you all year to pay for last season’s holiday purchases, now is the time to learn from your mistakes. Pull out your credit card bills or bank statements from last holiday season and see where you overspent. Figure out how to avoid repeating that mistake this year.
This holiday season can be different if you stick to these tips. To help Canadians avoid the stress of overspending and keep their budgets off the naughty list, the Holiday Survival Guide more merry ways to budget and save this season.