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Deck the Halls with a Debt Free Christmas

Alex Noga Alex Noga Deck the Halls with a Debt Free Christmas
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It’s always better to give than receive, right? That is until all your holiday shopping has put you into enough debt to carry you into the new year. This year the National Retail Federation Survey shows that holiday shoppers plan to spend $997.73 on gifts, holiday decorations, and non-gift purchases for themselves and their families. That’s all holly jolly until that $997.73 turns into $1,500 plus due to interest. And if you only decide to pay the minimum payment of $25 each month, it will take you over five years just to pay it off! Bah humbug! 

So how can you avoid going into debt during the holidays? Here are some ways you can avoid going into a credit, and Christmas cookie, coma: 

  1. The early bird gets the worm. Here’s what I mean: start budgeting, saving, and buying early! Starting January 1, set a budget for yourself for the holidays. If you know you want to spend $1,000 on Christmas gifts and other items, put away $111 every month between January and September. Why September? Start purchasing your gifts early to avoid the holiday-markup that happens around Halloween. By budgeting, saving, and buying early, you’re saving yourself a lot of time and money so you can really enjoy the holiday season!
  1. Cut the credit. Don’t fall for any of the lavish credit card deals that pop up during the holidays. It may seem great now, but it will put you further into debt you don’t want to be in. Only spend what you have! This way you avoid racking up interest and paying more for your holiday festivities.
  1. Only buy what you’ve budgeted for. Things might sneak up on you during the holiday season, and that’s fine. But try to only buy what you’ve budgeted for. Your friend wants to have a last-minute holiday gift exchange? Suggest making it a white elephant exchange so you don’t have to purchase anything extra. You want to host a holiday dinner? Make it a potluck so everyone can bring a dish! The holidays don’t have to blow your budget if you get creative about it. 

If you’re looking additional financial assistance during the holiday season, Telhio Credit Union is here to help. Visit www.telhio.org

This is a multi-part sponsored series presented with paid support by Telhio Credit Union.

Telhio Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, Union, Hamilton, Warren, Butler and Preble counties. Founded in 1934, originally as the credit union for the Columbus Telephone Co., Telhio is a not-for-profit financial cooperative where its members are also its owners. Driven by its philosophy that members come first, Telhio is committed to the highest standards of responsibility and conduct. Telhio offers a variety of innovative programs, services and products to support its members’ financial needs. Telhio offers 9 branching offices throughout Central and Southwestern Ohio and nearly 4,000 shared branching locations nationwide. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS #251831

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