Yes, it’s that time of year again. Time to decorate the tree, schedule some Christmas caroling and spend like a fiend at our Denver area malls. I am here to offer some options on holiday gifts you can afford.
I know I’ve been harping on this point a lot lately, and there’s no stopping me now: you do NOT have to over-spend at the holidays to show or receive love from the people in your life.
You really don’t.
Chances are, if you’re like one of my clients in Arvada, you’re going to ignore my advice and over-spend anyway. Then, next year around this time, you’ll be scheduling a consultation with me to talk about your upcoming divorce and the best time to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
Why Over-spending at the Holidays is a Bad Idea
I hope I’m wrong. I hope you will resist the tempting commercials, sales, credit card offers and even the pleading eyes of your adorable kids.
Because remember, those credit card bills are going to come due in another month and you’re either going to have the cash flow to pay them, or you’re going to find yourself drowning in debt at just about the time Little Johnny has lost interest in the latest and greatest $50 video game you bought him.
By the way, that video game is going to cost you about $92 over the course of the next year.
Think about that for a minute (and if you are carrying credit card debt, check out this credit card interest calculator to see how much money you’re wasting on interest).
I’ve posted recently about the direct link between debt, bankruptcy and divorce, and offered strategies for spending less and giving more of yourself instead of material things. If you didn’t see those posts and you’re even slightly tempted to spend money you don’t have this holiday season, please read them here, here and here.
I promise you will find new inspiration for how to give better this holiday season by spending less and making financial freedom a family priority. (Plus, the time you’ll spend reading will be guaranteed time away from the malls!)
Holiday Gifts You Can Afford
One of the strongest points I hope I was able to make in those recent articles is the value and beauty of giving your time instead of material things. On the surface, volunteering seems to be a gift to the receiver, and it is.
Volunteering is also one of the best things you can do for yourself. I know this from published facts, and I know this from personal experience.
My wife and I have shared some of our richest experiences volunteering together. It helped us grow closer to one another, meet amazing people we would have never met in our typical day-to-day activities, and it helped us avoid over-spending.
I urge you to give volunteering top priority this holiday season. Include your spouse, your kids, your grandkids and your neighbors. Make it fun with planned games or caroling afterward, or have everyone contribute food and drinks for a pot luck after the hard (but fun) day of volunteering.
I’ll bet you a candy cane that you and your family will get more joy out of spending your time together than spending money you don’t have on gifts nobody needs.
Try it. Let me know how you liked it. Then call me in January and let me know if you need a free bankruptcy consultation or if I owe you a candy cane.