Family celebrating Christmas at home.We all know Christmas lands on December 25th every year but it always seems to sneak up on us, leaving most Americans unprepared. A majority of Americans start the new year with a big pile of debt because they overspent during Christmas. With Christmas being just a few weeks away, we want to help you have a debt free Christmas. We have compiled a list of 5 tips to help you stay debt free this holiday season:

  1. Make a Budget – Start by making a budget of how much money you need to spend this holiday season. Then make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for this holiday season. Christmas gifts are a large chunk of this budget but don’t forget to budget for decorations, holiday cards, food, wrapping paper and anything else you know you are going to spend money on over the holidays.
  2. Use Cash – Using cash is a great way to ensure you will not overspend and go into debt this holiday season. Many people do not think about the money they are spending when they swipe their credit card to make purchases. Using cash generally makes consumers more aware of the money they are spending.
  3. Make A Gift List – Making a list is like making a budget! If you can put a gift list together, you can shop around for the best deals. Then you also know what you need to buy when you go shopping at the store. By having a list and sticking to your list, you can ensure you do not overspend.
  4. Shop Online – Shopping online is a great way to save lots of money! There are wonderful deals available online and it’s a great way to stick to your list and budget. Shopping online also saves time and money driving to the store!
  5. Look for Coupons and Promo Codes – Before you start shopping, be sure to check newspapers and flyers for coupons. During the holidays, there are also several promo codes in circulation online. Before checking out online, be sure to look for a promo code so you can potentially save some money!

If you can follow these tips this holiday season, you can go into the new year without having to worry about paying off your debt. Christmas is not a reason to get into debt. Christmas is a time to make memories with your friends and family. It’s also a time to reflect on the positive things going on in your life and helping others in the community who are less fortunate.