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3 Tools You Need to Start a Holiday Debt Diet

Is your current debt load affecting your holiday mood?

Putting your finances on a debt diet through December might be a great way to get your money in shape for the new year. And, by incorporating healthy money habits now, you’ll be more likely to stay motivated and meet your goals in the months to come.

The season of spending has begun

According to a recent holiday outlook poll, Canadians predict they’ll spend an average of $1,500 this holiday season, which includes gifts, entertainment and travel. Eight in 10 Canadians thought they would spend as much or more than they spent last year during the holidays, which can mean more debt being added to already tight budgets.

Instead of adding to your debt this holiday season, put your credit cards on ice and follow these three steps to reduce debt and spend less.

3 tools to help you avoid debt this December

  1. Set a holiday budget. Although the holidays are just a couple of weeks away, you can still take advantage of a few of these helpful tips about how to create a four-week spending plan that will allow you to see exactly how much you have to spend on presents, travel, entertaining and decorations throughout the holidays.

You can also use this holiday budget calculator.

  1. Shop with a plan. Keep a detailed list of what you’ve bought already and a list of what you still need to buy. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry or emotional because this can trigger overspending. And, don’t forget to cross people off your list as you buy for them so you don’t feel tempted to continue buying. Bonus, save money by making your own gifts or getting thrifty with inexpensive gifts. Follow these ideas from Simply Frugal.
  2. Keep your goals front and center. If your budget is tight and you’re hoping to reduce debt rather than add to it, here are a few goals you might want to incorporate this month:
    • Scale back your holiday shopping and add extra money to an emergency fund.
    • Look into your debt relief options by contacting a professional or using a repayment options calculator.
    • Communicate with family that you’d rather spend time together rather than money.

If you were beginning a diet or exercise routine, you would research what you needed to do and gather the necessary tools to help you reach success. The same is true when it comes to meeting financial goals. By setting goals and making debt relief a priority, you’ll reduce your stress and get a head start on planning for the new year.

How will you avoid holiday debt this season? Share your ideas with us via Twitter. #DebtSolutions #HolidayDebt

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