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How To Stay Debt Free For Christmas

 

Christmas shopping graphic

Well it’s that time of year to put up the Christmas decorations and engage in the annual tug of war between you, your credit card, and the retailers as you do your shopping for gifts. And guess what? The average shopper racks up more than $500 in credit card debt Christmas shopping and doesn’t pay it off until the following October!

 

So, what should we do to stay out of debt this Christmas?

 

No, it isn’t finding the best sale, it’s having a Christmas spending plan that you stick to and making some creative decisions. And it’s even more important to remember what Christmas is really all about……….celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

 

When you use a spending plan for Christmas you tend to think more carefully about your spending and avoid impulsive purchases. So, here are some suggestions on having a debt-free Christmas that is also a wonderful time and memory for your family.

 

  • Be a student of each member of your family and buy or make inexpensive gifts that are valuable to the recipient because it reflects their personal interests and needs.
  • If finances are tight this year and you have an extended family, consider name-swapping so each person buys a gift for only one or two people.
  • Create a culture of the family enjoying the fellowship with one another and focusing on Christ and not tons of presents.
  • Consider as a family giving to those who are needy. We did this when our children were young and discovered it replaced greed and the desire to get more and more with memories we still talk about fondly.
  • Make Christmas about Christ by having a birthday cake for Him, caroling with friends, and reading the Christmas story.

 

The world has taken Christ out of Christmas – let’s put him back in it front and center.

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5 Ways To Stay Out Of The Red On Black Friday

 Black Friday with logo

Helmet… check. Flak jacket… check. Last will and testament updated… check.   Okay, it sounds like you’re all set to go shopping on Black Friday.

 These sale events have gotten out of control, literally! A couple of years ago there was a near riot over $2 waffle makers at Wal-Mart, and a woman in California pepper sprayed 20 other shoppers to get to an Xbox video game console.
Well, how can we keep ourselves out of the Red on Black Friday? Here are 5 ways that should really help:

  1. First of all have a Christmas shopping spending plan! Know exactly what you’re going to spend beforehand, and stick to it.
  2. Do your homework on where the best deals are and make a shopping list for anything you’re not buying online BEFORE you leave the house.
  3. Don’t get sucked into opening store credit cards for a discount!
  4. Don’t forget about Cyber Monday (Monday, November 30th). It is a really big deal these days, and there are plenty of deals to be had online.
  5. You can go to a deal tracking website, such as, DealNews.com. They also have smart phone app that will alert you if a deal pops up that matches what you’re looking for.

Some Black Friday stories are so silly that you have to laugh. But they are also symbolic of something sad. The world is intent on taking Christ out of Christmas and replacing Him with holiday gift giving. So, make a real effort to keep yourself and your family focused on the real reason we celebrate Christmas. The birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Spending: Best Deals to Find at the First of the Year

Finally . . . the Christmas shopping season is behind us! But, there are still good deals to be had if you know how to shop for them. We’re going to list some of the best things to buy in January and February. But we should be clear . . . . we’re NOT encouraging you to run out and start buying everything on this list. Only buy if needed, if budgeted, and you can do it debt free.

Much of this list comes from www.freeshipping.org and these items are generally priced lower this time of year, but there are no hard and fast rules, so shop around!

  • Appliances. New models tend to hit stores late in the year, and when the new year rolls around, retailers often want to clear out “older” models.
  • Carpet and flooring. People tend to fix up their homes before the holidays. So after the holidays, demand often drops and prices do as well.
  • Gift cards. In January, there are people who received a gift card but would rather have cash . . . so they sell their gift cards on EBAY or at a website like GiftCards.com, so you can often find gift cards at a discounted price.
  • Motorcycles. In much of the country, demand for motorcycles drops in January when the weather is cold. Demand goes down, and the price goes down.
  • Christmas Wrapping paper and cards are cheaper as retailers are clearing out Christmas inventory
  • Winter clothing. Retailers start thinking about trying to unload their winter inventory to get ready for spring, and the closer to spring you can wait, the better the deals.

Warmly in Christ,

Howard Dayton