Most people associate the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day with frequent family gatherings, seemingly endless holiday tunes and plenty of gifts. However, for Miami debt defense attorneys, this time of year is also known for another thing: producing copious amounts of debt. Worry not, our team is here to offer some tips for avoiding giving yourself the gift of debt this holiday season.
1. Make a Budget
The most important step to take before beginning holiday shopping is to craft a thorough and realistic budget. Looking back on what you spent last year is a good place to start, not only to recall who you purchased gifts for, but to determine if there are any opportunities where you could have saved money. The earlier you have a budget developed, the better. That way, you have the opportunity to save, and even spread your shopping over the course of several weeks or months. If you’re looking to spend more than your budget allows, take a look at other areas where you can save during the holiday season. This might mean dining out less frequently or making coffee at home for a month or two, and it is up to you to best determine where you can afford to cut back. Finally, once you’ve got a solid budget, make sure you stick to it. It can be easy to spend beyond your means in the name of giving, but doing so could be detrimental to your financial future.
2. Opt for Gifts That Won’t Break the Bank
Sometimes it really is the thought that counts, particularly if that thought is a creative one. There are plenty of inexpensive, and even free gifts you can give to loved ones. In fact, many would argue that such gifts are often even more meaningful than those that carry a heavy price tag. If you are looking to explore your creative side, consider making a craft that speaks to the receiver’s interests or baking a festive treat. If that’s not your cup of tea, you might opt for a subscription-based gift, or even a monthly donation in his or her name. These gifts allow payment to be spread out over the year, giving you the opportunity to spend a little more without being met with the entire cost upfront.
3. Use Credit Cards Responsibly
If little Sally is vying for a gift that only money can buy, consider the consequences if you decide to use a credit card to purchase it. There is nothing wrong with giving a gift that costs a pretty penny, so long as it is within your means. One of the biggest mistakes shoppers make during the holidays is using credit cards to buy items they simply cannot afford. While using credit cards can be an excellent way to build credit, doing so is only effective when those cards are used responsibly.
A good rule of thumb is to use credit sparingly when you are holiday shopping, and always ensure that any payments can be repaid promptly. We recommend using the email and text message alerts offered by most banks to remind you when payments are due. This will prevent you from incurring excessive interest payments that you may not be able to overcome. Above all else, never spend more than you can afford to repay.
If you’re dealing with debt this holiday season, the Miami debt defense attorneys at Graham Legal are dedicated to giving you the gift of peace of mind. Call us today to learn how we can help you get back on track, while defending your rights every step of the way.