Dream of a Green Christmas: Your Essential Guide to a Stress-Free, Debtless Holiday Season

Thanksgiving is just about here, which means that Christmas is right around the corner. Along with the colder weather and yuletide decorations, this time of the year also means that there will be more and more people in malls and stores nationwide who will be searching for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. While shopping for the best gifts can be quite a lot of fun, it can also bring a lot of stress, especially for those who aren’t a fan of crowds.

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you have not only a stress-free holiday season but also one that will help you stay in the black and not in the red. Read our 8 tips below!

Develop a Budget – The most boring and most difficult yet most essential part of your holiday spending plan is coming up with a solid budget. Look at your finances and figure out how much you can set aside realistically for gift-giving this year without the help of credit cards. Once you have the figures in place, make the commitment to stick with the plan. You can also include how much you are willing to spend on holiday parties, food, gift wrapping supplies, decorations, stocking stuffers, and more.

Say No to Using Credit Cards – While you want to give your friends and loved ones the best gifts possible, you don’t want to go into debt doing so. Many wind up overspending during the holidays, which leads to debt in the new year. Just say no to using credit cards to fund your gift-giving and stick to the budget.

Make a List – Santa’s got the right idea! Make a list of all the people you need to buy for, and if you can, write down beside their names what they want or what you would like to give them and an estimate of how much those gifts might cost. You can also include handmade gifts, which are always greatly appreciated.

Cut Where You Can – You probably want to buy for all of your friends and family members, but sometime that isn’t possible, especially if you have a large family. Trim you list where you can. If your circle of friends or family is large, consider having a gift exchange with a fixed amount of money or only buying gifts for the children in the family. You can also try to chip in for one large gift.

Find Ways to Increase Your Budget – If you really don’t want to cut anyone from your list, consider finding ways to make a few extra bucks quickly to put toward your gift list. Apply to work for seasonal help, sell unwanted or unused things around your home, or consider re-gifting nice items that you don’t use instead of letting it languish in your basement or attic.

Shop Early – If at all possible, get your shopping done early so you can eliminate stress during the holiday season. You don’t have to wait for Black Friday for sales; there are good deals all around you, so keep your eyes peeled throughout the year to find the best price on the items you’re hunting for.

Tackle the Black Friday Sales – This certainly isn’t a stress-free endeavor, but if you are feeling adventurous, plan out your attack and head out the Friday after Thanksgiving to get your gift shopping done. Don’t want to head outside? There are plenty of good deals online both on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

Follow Your Favorites on Facebook – Do you really enjoy certain products? Go ahead and follow them on social media! Oftentimes, companies will have special promotions, giveaways, sales, and more that they will advertise online through their social media pages. Be sure to check them regularly to save some money on products you and your loved ones enjoy.

We hope that these 8 tips will help you have an enjoyable, debt-free holiday season! Make sure that your stress levels are at an all-time low by talking with your insurance agent at Madison Mutual to ensure that your insurance is up-to-date. Call us today at 1-800-766-MMIC or visit us online at www.madisonmutual.com!