So I will confess – I am a shopper. I shop for the deal, whether I need it or not. If I see something that is clearanced and regularly quite a bit more expensive, I buy it. Not just one, no not me, I buy like 5. Why? I’m a shopaholic. I can’t let a deal get by me: I have a dream of working at home for myself selling all my great deals on eBay and making more money then I ever thought about.
But with great amounts of shopping – comes great amounts of debt. I admit that there are times I’ve spent money I shouldn’t on a ‘sure deal’ way of making some money, and yet the items still sit unsold in my basement… And that’s not the only time I go overboard. Christmas.
With 4 kids, 2 nephews, 1 niece, 4 parents, 3 grandparents, a sister and a brother-in-law to buy for, that is a big list. . and I’m a bit of a spoiler. I love the shrills of joy when the kids open up all the things they’ve been wanting, or when I see a surprised look on my Mom or my sisters face when they open up their gifts. But as great as that is, it isn’t so wonderful when I go to open up my statement on my credit card bill the next month, or look at the balance in my check book. Ouch.
So I promised my husband (and myself) that I would not go into debt for Christmas this year. I’ve been planning since summer and here are a few ways I’ve become debt free for Christmas.
1. Sweepstakes – if you’ve never done them, your missing out. A good 60% if not more of my Christmas will be paid for with my sweeps wins. Either wins or gift cards that I’ve won. (Read my post about beginning as a sweeper here.)
2. Shop DEALS – As I said earlier, I love a good deal. Keep an eye out for things you know that your kids (or family members) will love. My son is obsessed with Superhero’s , Mario Brothers, Power Rangers..all the boy stuff- after Halloween I got tons of marked down costumes to make him a costume trunk – my best find? a Mario costume for $2!
3. Don’t overspend – It’s very easy to get carried away. I find deals and I find things I know people will love, and I buy… and I buy some more, and I keep buying until a red flag goes up at the retailers because I’ve reached my limit on my debit card. Not this year – I am taking cash, and my gift cards for my Black Friday shopping.
4. Make a list – I have a notebook in my purse, each page has a name of a person I am buying for the top part is ideas for that person – the bottom part is what I’ve bought. Make sure to write down every purchase in your notebook. You’d be surprised about how all the ‘little’ things can add up. I am always shocked on Christmas Eve when I go to start wrapping presents – I open my closet door and they just fall out!
I found some other great tips on Dave Ramsey’s website for staying debt free for the holidays – he also has a sweepstakes going on right now! You could win up to $10,000 in Cash and prizes! You can enter here.
What are your holiday saving tips? Comment below and one person will be chosen to have a surprise gift sent to them!