Holiday shoppers crowd the stores on Black Friday
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Don’t let overspending on the holidays lead to credit card debt!

Holidays can be touch on your budget. They fall outside your normal spending habits, making it easy to overspend. When that happens, it usually leads to credit card debt and money wasted on interest charges. So, if you like to celebrate every holiday on the calendar, you need a plan for how to do it frugally. The articles in this section can help you mark every holiday you love each year without braking he bank. And remember, if overspending on holidays ever leads to credit card debt, Debt.com is here to help you get out of debt! Call us and let us match you with the right solution for your needs.

What are the most expensive holidays?

You won’t be surprised to hear that Christmas and the other winter holidays make up the most expensive time of year for most Americans. You probably also wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Mother’s Day runs a distant second, because we all like to spoil Mom. What might surprise you is that the average American spends more on Easter than they do on Valentine’s Day.

But what are the most expensive holidays in America? Here’s a look at the most expensive holidays in the U.S.

Most expensive holidays by total spending in 2017

  1. Winter Holidays $678.8 billion
  2. Mother’s Day $23.6 billion
  3. Easter $18.4 billion
  4. Valentine’s Day $182 billion
  5. Father’s Day $15.5 billion
  6. Halloween $9.1 billion
  7. Patrick’s Day $5.3 billion

Source: http://research.nrffoundation.com/Default.aspx?pg=9039#.WhWcPVWnEdV

Most expensive holidays by average spent per household

  1. Winter Holidays $795.97
  2. Mother’s Day $186.39
  3. Easter $151.91
  4. Valentine’s Day $136.57
  5. Father’s Day $134.57
  6. Halloween $86.13
  7. Independence Day $73.42
  8. Patrick’s Day $37.92

Source: http://time.com/money/4994895/americans-spend-on-halloween-holidays/

7 ways to avoid credit card debt around the holidays

#1: Plan early

Planning early for holidays offers a few benefits for your budget. First, it allows you to spread the cost of holiday spending out over a few paychecks instead of just one. This allows you to use free cash flow in your budget to cover one-off holiday costs. That way, you can avoid relying on credit cards to cover the costs.

The other thing starting early does is give you time to make a spending plan. Then you also have time to comparison shop, wait for sales and score the best deals.

#2: Buy decorations late

If you go crazy to decorate your house for every holiday, things can get pricey fast. But there are ways to decorate on a tight budget. The best way is to buy decorations for next year right after each holiday. So, you buy Valentine’s decorations on February 15th and Independence Day decorations on July 5th.

This is especially useful for the winter holidays and Halloween. For both these holidays, you can usually find one of those popup decoration super stores around you. These stores only stay open for a limited time after the respective holidays end, so check to make sure you get in before that date.

#3: Work your way up a little each year

Another tip for holiday decorators is simply to be patient and buy in moderation. Limit yourself to getting one to two new pieces each year.  That way, you slowly build your decorations up instead of going broke in one crazy year of overspending.

And, remember, most decorations come back around each year. So, if you see a huge inflatable that you have to have, but it’s a few hundred bucks, skip it this year. If it sells out or doesn’t go on sale after the holiday, then you can plan ahead next year to save up and buy it with cash instead of on credit.

#4: Gift from the heart instead of your wallet

This is especially useful on gift-centric holidays. Retailers launch major campaigns around these holidays to convince people that you can’t make your loved ones happy without a huge price tag. If you only listen to ads, you might assume love can’t be expressed without diamonds or luxury cars.

But the best gifts tend be the ones that you thought about the most. And they usually don’t come with that hefty price tag. So, take some time to really think about what gift would be meaningful. In some cases, it may involve something handmade; in others, it’s just about getting that little think that means something between the two of you. Whatever the case, it will be less expensive than buy a diamond something.

#5: Leave your pets out of it

Loo, we all like to assume that our pets have their own unique thoughts and feelings and inner monologues. But even if they do, do you honestly believe your pet understands why they have to dress in green shamrocks every March?

Buying costumes and special holiday toys at each holiday is just going to drain your budget. And your dog is color blind, so it has no idea that new squeaky is green anyway. Of course, celebrating with your pets is truly your thing, you don’t have to give it up. But follow the advice in Tip #2 and purchase for your pets after each holiday to save it for next year.

#6: Self-gifting is just another word for splurging

A current trend for the holidays – particularly Valentine’s Day and Christmas – is the idea of self-gifting. You treat yourself to something nice as you shop for others. Really? You’re already spending money outside your budget to gift others, now you want to throw something else on top? Self-gifters spend over $100, on average. Instead, give yourself the gift of less credit card debt.

#7: Use stupid excuses for sales to your advantage

Retailers have found creative ways to “monetize” everything. That’s basically the practice of taking a special moment and finding ways to make a quick buck off of it. Retailers have mastered doing this around the holidays, and now they’re even making up holidays to do it more.

So, you have Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, and now even Spring Black Friday. Most retailers also mark holidays that only the postal service still celebrates in the U.S. That means sales for Columbus Day and President’s Day and Hinkley Buzzard Day. Ok, maybe not that last one. But it is an actual holiday.

What all these retail holiday mean is more opportunities to save. You can get ridiculously good prices on items, even those that may have absolutely nothing to do with the holiday they mark. So, buy that mattress that you need on Columbus Day and get your gardening supplies on Spring Black Friday and mark Labor Day by buying your La-Z-Buy recliner. Just make sure you’re strategically shopping to save money and not just shopping for the sake of it.