‘Tis the season for buying, buying, buying. And then, if you’re like the typical consumer, you’ll spend the better part of next year paying, paying, paying for it! My suggestion? If you don’t have the cash set aside specifically for purchasing holiday gifts, then don’t do it. It really is that simple.
I know you worry about what your family and friends will think if you show up empty handed, and I know that your kids might whine for a few minutes on Christmas morning. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy the holiday without expensive gifts. Instead of shopping, spend time together caroling, baking cookies, and spreading good cheer. A cheerful attitude is easier to come by when you aren’t stressed out by spending money you don’t have.
But you say you’ve bought the gifts already? And wrapped them? It’s not too late — unwrap them, return them to the store, and have the cashier put the credit back onto your card. This year, try giving your love instead.
Video: How To Stay Out Of Debt, a funny Saturday Night Live piece starring Steve Martin.
(Email subscribers, you’ll need to visit my website to view the embedded video.)