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How to Enjoy a Debt Free Holiday Season

October 9th, 2008

no-debt-holiday1.jpgPeople spend a lot of money during the holiday season and sometimes they spend beyond their means. It’s easy to get caught up in December shopping fever, but the new year can hit like a ton of bricks if the shopper isn’t careful. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a January free of debt with no credit card bills filling up your mail box? January can be worry free if you consider these tips from Lorraine Syratt’s latest article.

  • Shop for the holidays throughout the year. This way you can buy your gifts when they are on sale and when deals are plentiful. Boxing Day sales are a great beginning for the following year.
  • If you start shopping in December, peruse all the ads that come with the daily newspapers and do a lot of comparative shopping.
  • Don’t shop in the last minute. It’ll cost you. Firstly, because all the sale items are gone already and secondly, you likely won’t find what you’re looking for and you’ll end up spending beyond your means to find something else.

  • For gifts of apparel, flip through the discount clothing racks. Always look for sales. Even brand names can be found on sale, but you need to dig for it. If the price is right, don’t wait — just buy it when you see it. It may not be there when you go back.
  • Look for sales that aren’t advertised. Leave the mall and head to the boutiques on Main Street. Many of these little shops have discount racks and other items on sale all year long.
  • Shop online. You can do this throughout the year. Most retailers today have websites with online catalogs. Even with the shipping fees, you can still get bargains. But do comparative pricing. And be sure to add the cheapest shipping rate to your online shopping cart. If you don’t fill this in correctly, you could end up with overnight express shipping at a premium fee. Some online retailers offer free shipping or have a minimum purchase amount for free shipping.
  • Shopping throughout the year can greatly reduce your costs. With more time to search, you can hold out for the right price and stay within your budget.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a further discount on a high-priced item. There is always a possibility. Retailers don’t want to carry over too much of their inventory and they don’t want you to leave the store without a purchase.
  • Try to pay cash for most items. If you have to use your credit card, make your purchases early in the billing cycle. This gives you plenty of time to bring your balance up to date before the next bill arrives. The key is to keep the balance paid to avoid the interest charges.
  • Stick to your budget. Don’t spend more money than you actually have or can afford to lose.

Holiday shopping doesn’t have to be stressful. You can still get your kids the brand-name fashions they want without spending a fortune. The key is to look for deals, and to get the best deals you’ll need to be smart about it and start looking early. If you can manage to do this, January will be worry free.

2 Responses to “How to Enjoy a Debt Free Holiday Season”

  1. comment number 1 by: Justin

    I’m having a debt free Christmas. Christmas club. Open one at your bank :) Can’t get to the money until usually October.

  2. comment number 2 by: imDavidLee

    i seldom use credit card for shopping purpose..so i can have better control on my monthly expenses…most of the time only use money for investment…

    i like to read your money and finance articles..

    do u mind to exchange link wif me?

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