Want To Enjoy Debt-Free Holidays?
Check out our tips to stay on track this season!
Is it possible to stay on track during the holidays?
If you’ve been asking yourself this, lucky you. We’ve put together a few tips to help you stay debt-free this holiday season!
With the holiday season quickly approaching, people are excited and full of holiday cheer. A lot of people are anticipating an action-packed social calendar.
For some people, (the people who are trying to stay debt-free and make smarter financial decisions), the holidays are triggering quite a bit of spending anxiety. On top of the immense social pressure of gift-giving, the holidays include a lot of travel and get-togethers, which adds up quickly and makes it harder to stick to your debt-free goals…
Join us for a few tips on how you can get the most out of your holidays while staying budget-conscious!
Holiday Debt Dread
According to a clinical psychologist highlighted by Business Insider, even hearing Christmas music could be bad for mental health. Sometimes hearing Christmas music stressed people out because reminds them of all the things they ‘need’ to do before the holidays. Another survey by Bankrate shows: ‘More than 6 out of 10 people feel pressure to overspend on either presents, travel, social outings, or charitable donations during the holiday season. Even more surprising, a lot of respondents were even open to boycotting the holidays altogether.
If you feel boycotting the holidays is the best route for you…cool, but we wouldn’t want you to become a total Grinch this season. There are plenty of ways around spending a ton of money while still being festive with the people you care about.
So how do we maintain the balance between our financial goals and our social/family life during the holidays?
Don’t Try To Be Santa
The most stressful part of the holidays for most people are buying gifts. A recent study by Investopedia found: ‘Industry experts expect the average American spends $920 per person on holiday gifts in 2019, up from $885 in 2018. In 2019, American holiday spending will total more than $1 trillion.’ If you’ve been following Yofii for some time, you’ll remember our article last year on how people tend to spend money they DON’T HAVE!
Last holiday season, consumers added about $1,230 to their credit card balances alone. Those who think they can ‘just buy this year’s gifts on their credit card and pay it off slowly’, just signed up for a detour on their journey to financial freedom.
Assuming the holiday shoppers who put purchased all of their gifts on a credit card stopped using their credit cards and paid $30 a month on their $1,230 balance (plus interest), they’ll end up paying off their debt in 2024.
One way to not spend too much money on gifts, other than not giving them at all, is by making them yourself. You don’t have to be the most creative person in the world to make a gift from the heart. Craft stores like Micheal’s, are a great place to start. Googling ‘easy DIY gifts’ is a great place to get inspired. Another great way to show you care without breaking the bank is to bake or cook some special treats and snacks for your loved ones!
On top of the stress of having to buy gifts, another huge expense that causes stress is holiday travel. If staying local isn’t an option, try to travel smart to avoid exceeding your budget on your holiday travel.
Before you get to checking your favorite travel website or packing your bags, you FIRST need to take a good, hard look at your current financial situation. If traveling is simply out of your budget, traveling should not be a priority.
If you’ve already budgeted for your holiday travel, check out our guide on How to Travel On A Budget. The top recommendation you will get from travel websites, blogs, and your frequent fliers is to book in advance. Don’t wait for those ‘last-minute deals’, because…do they even really exist?
If you’re committed to traveling this holiday season and you haven’t purchased your tickets yet, airfare tracking websites like AirfareWatchdog or Google Flights to find the best day to travel. In many instances, secondary airports will offer cheaper flight options, so stay open to flying into or out of secondary airports.
Once you have your flight, there are plenty of ways to stay on track with your budget and keep to your goal of being debt-free. Consider packing light to save on bag check fees, pack snacks, and bring refillable bottles to save even more money at the airport.
PS: Packing light also gives you an excuse to skimp on gifts.
Keep It Cozy and Casual!
Staying close for the holidays? For many, there is nothing cozier during the holidays than being at home with their friends or family.
Dinner and drinks can become very pricey, and leave you feeling like a real Grinch when the bill comes. We know dinner parties can often be just as expensive and stressful, so ease the financial blow by suggesting a potluck with friends.
Encourage everyone to bring a dish, wine, or desserts and enjoy each other’s company without running up a huge tab. If you find joy in cooking, you always have the option of splitting the grocery bill with all of your dinner mates.
And Finally!!!! It pays to be honest…
Personal finances are stressful enough and even embarrassing to talk about for many. With 7 out of 10 Americans struggling with debt, holiday spending anxiety is more common than you think.
If you feel comfortable, sometimes just being honest with your friends and family about cutting back on spending is the best thing to do. Those who care about you will understand. In many instances, the people who care about you might feel the same way because they would rather be debt-free!
Doomed for debt?
Do you still feel like you’re doomed for debt after the holidays? Have no fear! Yofii is here. Our number one goal is to not only help you get out of debt but also help you stay out of debt. Yofii is being built to help you get out of debt, stay out of debt, and achieve your financial goals.
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