Best Ways to Cut Spending to Avoid Holiday DebtDec 12, 2017
Adding to your debt in December doesn’t have to be a given. Instead of accepting that you’ll enter the New Year with holiday debt, as respondents to this 2016 poll did, here are some tips to cut other expenses or costs — so you can celebrate without debt.
- Take a closer look at your current debt
If you’re making monthly debt payments to various lenders, think about how you’re managing your debt. You may be paying more interest charges than you need to. Strategies like debt consolidation, paying down the principal amount of your debt, or requesting an interest rate reduction can free up more money in your budget. If you have debt problems, you can also speak with a professional to learn about your options. A credit counsellor or Licensed Insolvency Trustee can help you decide what debt relief option would work best for you.
- Can you cut your transportation costs?
If you own a vehicle, think about how to use it less to save on fuel and maintenance costs. Using public transportation or carpooling can cut down on your monthly expenses.
- Rethink your entertainment costs
This may be one of the simplest ways to save money because entertainment is really a non-essential expense. So that means every entertainment dollar you spend could potentially be used elsewhere. That’s not to say that you should spend the next few weeks staying at home and staring at a blank wall, so you can enjoy your holidays later. But you can save money by reducing or eliminating cable or satellite packages that you aren’t using, or switching to another provider offering a better deal. Another idea…cancel automated subscriptions that you aren’t using, or would be willing to go without for a while to offset seasonal costs. Magazine or newspaper subscriptions, gym memberships, or other clubs can always be renewed in the months to come.
- Cut back on discretionary expenses
Think about eliminating a few regular discretionary expenses in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Skip a regular haircut or manicure. Opt out of a weekly brunch date. Then, use those savings to pamper yourself or connect with family and friends during the holidays. This is also a great savings strategy to put in place at the beginning of the year. Cutting back on a few discretionary expenses throughout the year may allow you to make regular contributions to a holiday savings account.
By the time the 2018 holiday season rolls around, you just might have enough put aside to ensure you can celebrate without adding to your debt.