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    Paying for the Holidays When You Don't Have Enough Cash

    Paying for the Holidays When You Don't Have Enough Cash

    Paying for the Holidays When You Dont Have Enough Cash

    With the holidays upon us — and all the gifts, parties, food, and celebrations they bring — they can also deliver Christmas tree-sized financial stress. The trend for most Americans is to simply purchase a lot of our holiday extras with a credit card. But what should you do if you don’t want to spend the next several months in debt? You don’t want to disappoint your family and friends, but it’s also difficult to pay for the holidays when you don’t have enough cash.

    Here are some ideas to keep you solvent during your holiday celebrations.

    Reduce your Christmas budget

    This is the solution most of us don’t want to use, but reducing your Christmas budget to fit the size of your wallet is one way to stay out of debt. Make a list of all the gifts, food, and extras you’ll need during the holidays. Make specific budgets. You may be surprised how far your budget will go. In most cases, your kids and loved ones won’t even notice the difference between an extravagant holiday season and a leaner one.

    Cut back in other areas

    Not convinced you want to give up all the fun extras during the holidays? You don’t have to! Keep in mind, however, that if you don’t have the extra money, you’ll need to cut back in other areas. Can you cut back on that extravagant morning coffee or lunch out and pack your own instead? Give up your regular pedicure or visit to the salon? Anytime it feels hard, remind yourself that you’re sacrificing for a fun holiday season.

    Earn extra money

    Another way to increase your holiday budget is to earn extra money. Can you take on extra overtime at work? Sell things you aren’t using anymore? You could even offer to bake cookies or wrap holiday gifts for your friends and neighbors for a small fee. Put any extra money you make toward your holiday spending.

    Use your talents

    Believe it or not, you have talents that can help you earn money or make gifts. If you love sewing, think about what kinds of gifts you can sew for your family. Think about your talents and hobbies and see how they can help you fund some of the extras you’ll need this holiday season. Bake cookies for neighbors or coworkers. Use your love of woodworking to craft beautiful coasters or cutting boards for a family member. Not only will it save you money, but you’ll enjoy the process and the gifts will be more meaningful because you spent your time making something special.

    Save for next year

    The holidays come every year, and you know you’ll need to fork out extra cash at the same time every year. So plan ahead for next year. It may not help you this year. But once you get through the holidays this year, start planning in January for next year’s celebrations. Stash away a little extra cash into a holiday fund each week or month. Even small contributions will add up over the course of the year — which will save you some stress next year when it’s time to party.