It’s Summer and I am Still Paying for Christmas

Christmas Shopping Credit Card Debt

Christmas Holiday Bills and Credit Card Debt

Many Americans find themselves in debt long after the holidays are over. It is important for many of us to make the holidays warm and cheery. Build family memories that will last a lifetime. Many Americans are still paying for it now or worse yet still paying when next Christmas comes around.

So what can I do to save money during Christmas?

Simple ways to keep credit card spending down during Christmas

Christmas Decorations: Limit the amount of Christmas decorations. Use decorations from the previous years by choosing decorations that are classic, timeless, and can be used year after year. Another tip when it comes to Christmas decorations is to buy decorations the first week after Christmas. Decorations after Christmas typically cost 30% – 90% cheaper after the holidays.

Large Family Big Debt: Do you come from a large family? Does the cost of buying presents become the costliest part of the holidays? Try doing a gift exchange with the adults in your family. The holidays are about being together; you will find that your family members will share that sentiment. They may thank you for the idea, and that will help them to save money as well.

Holiday Food: There are a couple of ways to save here. Avoid purchasing pre-made food. Here are two examples. The first is a cheese tray. Cheese plates can cost as much as twenty dollars. A person can save as much as three times if they purchase the items individually. The other example baked goods. It is often cheaper to bake than to go to the bakery section of your grocery store. Finally, with close family gatherings ask your guest to bring something. Potluck can be a way to reduce the cost of a holiday party significantly.

Sunday Paper: Track the sales and specials for gifts in your holiday paper. Ten dollars here ten dollars there can add up. Clip grocery coupons in your Sunday paper. Save money on family staples and special holiday foods.

Layaway: Put large ticket items away months before Christmas. This a good way to budget and spread out Christmas debt, months before and months after.

Cash: Pay a little cash on something before charging. If you are buying a 100.00 DVD player pay 20.00 cash at the register. This does two things you pay down 20.00 that will never accrue interest. The other thing that will happen is that you will start to become aware of your spending. Often when using credit cards, you are not aware of how much you are spending until January’s bill. Paying a little down on each purchase will be a constant reminder that you are spending real money that will need to be paid back.

Credit card bills: Pay as much as you can every month. If times are tough to pay at least double the minimum payment. This will help slow the interest from compounding. This will help to keep your FICO score healthy.

These are just a few of the ways to save money during the holiday season. This can help lift the weight of the Holidays. Remember what makes the Holidays truly unique is the time you spend with loved ones, not the amount you spend at the store.

Monica Kowollik

Director at
Monica has covered credit card and personal finance news for over 15 years. From an early age, she developed an interest in financial literacy and saving money. Monica hopes to help others to improve their personal finances one article at a time.