This year has flown by. In less than a week, December will be upon us and that means many folks will begin the annual scramble to buy Christmas gifts for their friends and family. According to the National Retail Federation, this year’s holiday spending has the potential to shatter previous records. As much as I love the tradition of showing our love and appreciation with gifts, as a Memphis TN debt lawyer, I know many folks get caught up in the frenzy of the season and make holiday purchases they can’t afford.

There’s no amount of Christmas morning magic that will compensate for a January credit card statement that will take years to pay off. Consider following my tips below to avoid holiday credit card debt and still make the most of this joyous season.

1. Make a budget and stick to it

I know making a budget hardly sounds like an enjoyable holiday activity. But setting firm spending limits can help make the season a lot more stress-free. A good starting point is to make a list of everything you need to buy. Remember, this includes more than just the presents themselves. There’s food, wrapping paper, decorations, travel expenses, and more.

Once you’ve made a budget, don’t forget to track everything as you go. Make notes on your phone, or try a mobile budget app so those extra stocking stuffers, or an extra string of lights, doesn’t set you back.

2. Avoid the mall

This one may sound like a bit of a holiday downer, but often, simply setting foot inside a mall leads to purchases we never intended to make. If you do have to make a trip to a mall, make sure you’re armed with your budget and a list of holiday items you’ve allowed yourself to buy. (It can help to bring a Christmas shopping buddy for accountability).

3. Use cash as much as possible

A proven way to avoid overspending is to leave those credit cards at home and only bring a fixed amount of money with you. That being said, I know many places have gone cash-free since the pandemic. If cash isn’t an option, try using a debit card instead of credit.

4. Keep the focus on family

Christmas is about so much more than shopping, which we too often lose sight of. Instead of your family Christmas being all about gifts, look for ways to spend some quality time together. For example, you can volunteer in the community or play a board game.

You also don’t have to forego gifts altogether to save money. Consider homemade gifts instead, or have a “Secret Santa” exchange, where you’re only buying one gift for one person, with a set spending limit.

Trying to save money this season can actually be a wonderful opportunity to reconnect to what matters most this time of year.

5. Consider bankruptcy

I’ve said it before, but having any kind of debt is a good sign that you’re spending well above your means. If you need to turn to credit cards to cover your holiday purchases, you are only making an existing problem worse.

As a well-respected debt lawyer Memphis counts on, I strongly urge you to consider bankruptcy if you’re struggling with debt. Bankruptcy is a way to have your debts forgiven and get a fresh financial start.

And there’s no better gift you can give your family than security, health, and happiness. Stable finances go a long way toward giving them all of the above.

If you’re struggling with debt, talk to a Memphis TN debt lawyer today for FREE

If you are overwhelmed with credit card debt you can’t pay off, don’t let holiday spending make it worse.  We’re here to help you get your financial life back on track. Give us a call today at (901) 327-2100 or contact us online for a FREE consultation. We can help you decide if bankruptcy is right for you, and come up with a plan to move forward.

Our lawyers are known for our compassion and results. Let us help you have a debt-free, stress-free holiday.