Christmas is less than one month away! It is easy to get caught up in the season of giving, but with a few simple steps you can avoid a debt hangover.

1. Make a plan.

Write down the names of everyone you plan to purchase an item for, along with a list of present options.

2. Set a spending limit.

Keep in mind that the person you are purchasing a gift for would not want you to buy something that is out of your price range. Try not to get caught up in the commercialism of the holiday season.

3. Buy smart.

Research alternative brand names – they may be comparable in quality with a much cheaper price tag.

4. Flyers and coupons.

Between flyers, coupons, and online deals you should be able to find some of your gift items for a good price. Keep in mind that most stores will price match.

5. Homemade gifts.

Your neighbors, friends, children’s teachers etc. will appreciate the thoughtfulness of a homemade gift or baked item.

6. Budget for next year.

In January begin putting aside money each month for the following Christmas. Building a gift budget into your savings plan can help relieve debt stress in the holiday season.

Remember that Christmas is about enjoying time with family and friends. Instead of creating debt to follow you into your future, create happy memories that will stay with you forever.

~Charlie Peet~