The holiday season is supposed to be a happy and exciting time for children and adults alike. Families gather and presents are exchanged. Unfortunately, we at Caplan Debt Solutions take calls every year from people struggling with holiday debt. With that in mind, there is a question that we think must be asked: ‘How much fun are the holidays if you know that the presents you bought cannot be paid for?’
This year, we’re proposing a different approach to the holiday, and to managing holiday debt: Affordability and Planning. Overspending on gifts creates stress and, possibly, feelings of anxiety, resentment, dissatisfaction, and even depression. The solution to these problems is simple: spend within your means.
But how do you determine your means? Our advice is to prepare a budget. In its simplest form, a budget is a financial plan comparing income with spending and expenses. If creating a budget seems daunting, consider contacting us about our credit counselling services.
If feel ready to create your own budget, the first step is the easy part: figuring out your income. To do this, simply add up and write down how much you make each month. Calculating your spending and/or expenses can be trickier, but our advice is to track your spending as it happens. Your bank likely has an app that will help track spending on debit. If you’re buying on credit – which we don’t recommend – you can review spending on your credit card statement. If you’re paying with cash, keep all your receipts.
At the end of the month, calculate what you’ve spent; you now have a good summary of the money coming in and the money going out. The difference between those figures is what will be available for Christmas gifts.
At Caplan Debt Solutions, we recommend putting aside a little money each month so you’ll have what you need for presents at the end of the year. Clients have told us that this approach has helped relieve their holiday debt and, by extension, their holiday stress and anxiety.
If you haven’t yet followed a plan like the one described above, and you’ve overspent on the holidays or generally feel over your head with debt, contact Caplan Debt Solutions today. We will work with you to find a solution to your debt problems. We don’t pass judgement; we only help to resolve the issues. Call today or reach out online and let us Take Debt Off Your Mind.
Happy Holidays, from the team at Caplan Debt Solutions.