If you want to keep your Thanksgiving and Christmas spending under control, it pays to plan ahead. The one-two punch of two of the biggest holidays in North America can leave a big dent in your budget if you’re not careful and planning ahead. In the U.S., the average consumer added an extra $1,000 to credit card bills from Christmas alone. But not all that debt comes from shopping for gifts. Food and travel alone are expensive. These money-saving tips for the busy holiday season can help you avoid holiday debt.
Struggling with debt can make the holidays difficult. There’s enormous social pressure to spend on gifts, food, and travel that you just can’t afford. If you’re tired of worrying about your debt all the time, it may be time to contact bankruptcy trustees, now known as Licensed Insolvency Trustees, such as David Sklar& Associates. Bankruptcy trustees can help you navigate bankruptcy and consumer proposals to help get you out of credit card debt and other unsecured loans you can’t pay back. Book an appointment with David Sklar and learn about available debt solutions.
You don’t have to cook everything alone.
When you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner, spread the responsibilities around. It’s an expensive feat buying enough food to feed several families, but often people don’t think twice about the cost. Between the turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, veggies, gravy, pumpkin pie, and wine, Thanksgiving dinner can cost anywhere from $209 to $337 according to Investors Group. If your credit cards are already near the limit, that’s a lot to pay.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone. Ask your guests to bring their favorite side dishes, dessert, or wine. As host, if you handle the main ingredients: turkey, stuffing, and gravy, you won’t hear any complaints. Plus, you’ll save yourself a lot of pressure by passing off some of the cooking responsibilities. Let the non-chefs handle easy fixes like dinner rolls, wine, and pumpkin pie fresh from the bakery.
Don’t let holiday dinner costs affect your grocery budget.
The holidays can throw a wrench in even the best-laid budgets. One of the issues that crops up every holiday season is the sudden growth in your grocery budget when you buy everything at once. Suddenly your everyday expenses seem to have grown enormously. Shop ahead and shop sales on anything you can preserve in advance, such as butter.
Alternatively, you can also set up a separate holiday fund for food, travel, and décor. Set aside a certain amount each paycheque all year, like any long-term financial goal.
Save on holiday travel.
If you’re not the one hosting, but traveling to see family, you’re facing other expensive costs. One of the easiest ways to save on holiday travel is to be flexible with your travel dates. Travel when the tickets are most affordable. That might mean hanging around at home for a day or two after your last day at work. That might not be such a bad idea, either, if you have the time. It will give you time to relax and unwind before diving into the stress of the holidays.
Most importantly, avoid going deeper into debt during the holidays. Plan ahead, set money aside, and organize your holiday around what you can afford, not what you feel pressured into doing.