Christmas can be one of our favorite times, but it can also come full of stress and anxieties, especially due to the extra expenses that they entail. Gifts, cards, decorations, events and donations are some of the things that can impact our budget for the month of December.

But it doesn't have to be this way, with some planning we can make this special month a whole celebration and avoid starting the New Year with debt.

If you already have debts, you have to carefully analyze of your situation and try not to make it worse with the Christmas celebrations. It is a good idea to consult with a Licensed Insolvency Trustee to assess of your situation with respect to debts.

Here are some ideas to consider of what we can do to prepare ourselves financially for the Christmas season.

1. Save in advance. Create a list of who you will give gifts to, also budget for parties, events, and donations. This will help you determine how much you should save from each check during the year.

2. Share your budget plan with family and friends in advance, that will avoid misunderstandings when sharing gifts.

3. Keep the types of gifts according to your financial capacity.

4. Keep a list of gifts already purchased to avoid duplication.

5. Ask your family and friends what they need or want to avoid wasting money.

6. Another idea is to make "Secret Santa" with the family so that we can save on the purchase of gifts.

7. Buy gifts throughout the year so you can take advantage of the best offers and avoid the “Christmas rush”.

8. Offer gifts by donating your time such as babysitting, snow removal, mowing the grass, walking the dog, etc.

9. Framing children's art can be a nice gift for grandparents.

10. Make your own gifts such as fresh homemade bread, cookies, jam, crafts, etc.

11. Send personalized holiday cards with thoughts that reflect how much you appreciate them.

12. Send holiday cards by email instead of paper and save on stamps.

13. Have quality time with your family during the Christmas season.

14. Volunteer with charities.

15. Get in the habit of setting family goals for the coming year and have a good time with your family reviewing goals from the previous year.

Staying within your budget is not easy, but we hope we have given you some good suggestions for this holiday season to help keep you debt free for the New Year.

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