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Feeling Christmas Pressure? 4 Ways To Celebrate Without Breaking Your Budget

Author : Tony Mase

If the sound of Jingle Bells has you clutching your wallet in fear, you're not alone. Christmas generates an estimated $435 billion worth of economic activity every year and, unfortunately, many people can't afford it.

According to the American Consumer Credit Council, the average American spends $935 on Christmas shopping - and that doesn't even include things like holiday meals and decorations!

Unfortunately, though, many Americans are driving themselves into debt during the Yuletide Season. According to Consumer Reports, shoppers spend about 15% more than they plan to at Christmastime. All of that shopping is racking up more debt for Americans who, on average, carry about $44,000 in debt to begin with - on things like mortgages, car loans, and credit cards. The holiday season only makes that debt worse.

So, how do you celebrate Christmas without going into debt - and without looking or feeling like a cheapskate? Start by following these 4 tips:

1. Stop pressuring yourself to make Christmas perfect.

Christmas is about spending quality time with your friends and family and making new memories - not about getting the perfect presents. You don't have to spend a fortune to have a great Christmas. If you spend too much, you'll spend Christmas worrying about all of the bills the New Year is going to bring - instead of enjoying yourself.

2. Quantity doesn't always equal quality.

You'll be much better off if you buy 1 or 2 gifts that'll really be treasured and appreciated, rather than making sure everyone has exactly 10 gifts under the tree. Remember, the Wise Men only brought 3 gifts and everyone in the Manger had a pretty great time!

3. Don't feel pressured to buy a gift for every member of your extended family.

If you can't even remember all of your cousins' names, they certainly don't all need a present! Family or couple's gifts are a great way to include everybody without killing your bank account. Or, you can set up a "Secret Santa" for your extended family members. That way, everyone only has to shop for one other person.

And, you can always give family members a homemade present - like a collection of family photos that you turned into a scrapbook. They'll appreciate something like that far more than another gift card to The Gap.

4. Set a budget and stick to it.

It sounds so incredibly obvious, but this is actually where most shoppers fail at Christmastime. Before you head out to go shopping, figure out how much money you can comfortably spend - without racking up a ton of bills that'll have to be paid off later. When you reach that limit, stop shopping. Don't go back to the mall. Don't browse online ads. Instead, think of the day in January when your credit card bills arrive and stop spending.

Author's Resource Box

Tony Mase is a serious student of the works of Wallace D. Wattles and the publisher of the A Powerful Life: The Lost Writings of Wallace D. Wattles ebook that includes A New Christ by Wallace D. Wattles along with twenty-four other rare books and articles by Wallace D. Wattles. Grab your copy now at:

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Tags:   christmas, debt, christmas gifts, avoid debt, how to avoid debt, saving money at christmas, christmas debt, save money christmas, how to save money at christmas, ways to avoid debt

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Submitted : 2010-11-30    Word Count : 1    Times Viewed: 552