Debt is a very serious thing, and something that can wreak havoc on your financial future and impact your finances for years to come. In some cases, debt can get so out of control that an individual has no option but to file for bankruptcy. While a large number of people who file for bankruptcy do so because they’ve experienced a serious hardship, such as a medical disease or car accident, it’s also possible for bankruptcy to be a result of poor spending habits. During the holiday season, it’s important to know how to best manage your spending in order to avoid severe debt. Here are some tips for staying out of debt this holiday season. To learn more about filing for bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy if you’re already in debt, please call the office of Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP today.
Set a Budget in Advance
Word of advice number one is to know your budget before you hit the stores. If you’re tight on cash this year, try homemade gifts, cards, or activities in place of materials items (this is also more earth-friendly in many cases, too!). By knowing what your budget is and how much you can afford, you’ll have a better idea of how to approach shopping and will be able to keep your stress in check.
Make a Plan When Shopping
One mistake that people make is overspending when they hit the stores as a result of poor planning. Make a list for what you want to buy and for whom before you go to the store. Then, do a little research to cost-compare and find out where you can get each item at the lowest price. And finally, avoid the temptation of spending on yourself! Going to the store with intent will hopefully help you to resist the temptation to overspend.
Stay Away from Credit
Credit can be great, especially if you have cards that offer rewards like cash back or dollars towards travel. But credit can also be risky. If you know that you’re someone who isn’t responsible with a credit card, try to avoid using one this holiday season and go with cash or a debit card instead, especially if you already have a lot of credit card debt.
Don’t Splurge All at Once
One thing that can be helpful about planning for your holiday shopping is that you’ll know what you want to buy, so you won’t be in a panic the night before Christmas trying to find the perfect gift for each person on your list. One thing that can really strain your budget is waiting until Christmas Eve to rush to the store and trying to get it all done at once. If you buy a little bit over time, on the other hand, the effect on your budget won’t feel so major.
Be Honest with Friends and Family
If you’re on a really tight budget this year for whatever reason, not splurging on gifts is responsible. Talk to your friends and family about your situation and why you can’t afford to go all out on gifts this year – chances are, they’ll understand and be happy that you were upfront and honest with them.
Call Our Bankruptcy Attorneys Today
At the Telpner Peterson Law Firm, LLP, we hope that you have a happy holiday season that’s debt-free. If you do find yourself facing large amounts of debt that you can’t seem to escape from, though, our bankruptcy attorneys are available to have a conversation with you about your options and the bankruptcy process. Please reach out to us directly by phone or online to schedule a consultation and learn more.