From shopping sprees for gifts to attending parties and hosting meals, the holidays are a time to indulge. While celebrating, many people find that they spend exponentially more during the holiday season than other times of the year, whether due to societal pressure to consume or to the fact that we all tend to find ourselves in a more generous, abundant mood.
While this jovial holiday spirit is fun temporarily, those who fail to rein in their spending can find themselves in a tough situation once the Christmas trees come down on January 1st – especially those who are already entrenched in debt.
However, for those undergoing a debt consolidation plan, the holiday season may actually be a low-stress, budget-conscious time of year. In fact, working intentionally through a debt relief program can help consumers emerge unscathed from the holiday festivities, no worse for the wear financially.
Debt Consolidation can Help You Budget and Plan
When you’re undergoing a debt consolidation plan, you can’t afford to not plan ahead. With your monthly payment schedule and your obligation to fulfill your responsibilities under your plan, it is necessary to set – and adhere to – a very strict budget. This will come in handy when it comes time to plan and buy gifts for family and friends, helping you determine how much you actually can spend and which gifts are absolutely necessary.
Debt Consolidation can Encourage You to use Cash as Much as Possible
With a substantial portion of your budget dedicated to your debt repayment, paying in cash whenever you can help you stick to your debt consolidation plan. A great way to do this is to employ the “envelope” system: Withdraw the exact amount of money you want to spend on gifts and other holiday expenses and keep it in an envelope marked “gifts.”
A Debt Consolidation Plan can Keep You Honest
With so much of your funds going to making payments to your debt consolidation company, you will have little discretionary money to waste on nonessentials, like gifts for fringe friends or expensive bottles of wine to bring to parties. When you’re undergoing a debt consolidation plan, you will likely find that you are positioned to make wiser purchasing decisions and to avoid discretionary expenses that can unnecessarily destroy your budget.
Sticking to a Consolidation Plan can Encourage You to Spread out Your Spending
rather than overhauling your spending in the month of December, you can spread out your gift purchases over time. Don’t procrastinate, but search for – and purchase – gifts as you find them. That way, you can devote a modest monthly budget starting now rather than to apportion an enormous amount to gifts and holiday expenses in the last month of the year.
Keep in mind that although the holiday season often encourages overspending and financial irresponsibility, sticking to a debt consolidation plan can position you to purchase (and celebrate!) a bit more wisely this year.