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Spend Smart This Holiday Season

Spend Smart This Holiday Season

This time of year always seems to bring out everyone’s cheerful side.  The joy of the holiday season can be seen in the decorations at people’s homes, the songs you hear on the radio, and especially where you shop.  Whether it be online or in person, shopping for yourself or loved ones is something most of us can relate to.  The temptation to go overboard with your spending is higher than ever.  As a law firm that represents both creditors and debtors, Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP knows the pitfalls that come with racking up debt and what it takes to collect on it. The attorneys here want to help our clients resolve these issues. That being said, here are some tips for saving money over the holidays.

Set a Budget

Being generous during the holiday shopping season is infectious.  Kindness seems to spread with every gift given.  Setting a budget for how much you want to spend is the easiest way to stay within your limits.  Decide early on how much you are able to spend on gifts for everyone on your nice list and stick to it.  Whether you are spreading holiday cheer equally or giving some a little extra, be sure to know how much you are going to spend before you step in to a store or shop online.  Don’t forget about factoring in the cost of mailing Christmas cards or shipping packages either.

Do your Research

Every retailer this holiday season knows that people are going to spend more than they normally would spend.  With so many options out there, it can be a little overwhelming trying to decide how to spend your money.  Once you’ve made your list and checked it twice, decide what you are going to buy for all your loved ones ahead of time and then hunt for the best deals.  Most stores will have ads out days or sometimes weeks before sales happen.  Organize your shopping according to what retailers have the deals you want on the items you need.  Stick to your budget and to your list of gifts and you will see the savings in the long run.

Use Cash Instead of Debit or Credit Cards

When you shop in person or online, it can be very easy to continually swipe your card or put numbers in on a website and forget about how much you are actually spending.  Using cash instead of cards is one of the ways you can tangibly see what you are spending.  Visually seeing every dollar you have in your wallet or purse might have more of an impact on your spending habits than swiping a card and checking your balance later.  If you’ve managed to set your budget, this step is a lot easier.  Some stores might have a deal or a bargain that is available only online.  Maybe the store only has an online presence like Amazon.  This step can be a little trickier to do if you are an avid online shopper.  One way around this is to go to a physical store and purchase gift cards with cash for the online retailers where you shop.  You could also purchase a Visa gift card and put a certain amount of cash on it to use online.  Just be aware that some online retailers might not accept them and understand that purchasing a Visa gift card may have an upfront fee to activate the card.

Remember the Worth of Homemade Gifts

You should never underestimate the value of a gift you have made yourself.  Making something to give as a gift is a great way to save money while still showing someone you care.  It is also a great tradition you can start with your family.  Whether it is making homemade Christmas cards or whipping up baked goods, the memories that come with giving and receiving homemade gifts can often outlast those you get from store bought goods.

Give the Gift of Time

Perhaps the most precious commodity we all have is time.  It can’t be bought in a store or online.  It can’t be stored in a bank or borrowed on a credit card.  It can truly warm the heart to have a visit from family members or friends during this time of year.  You can even spread cheer to those you don’t know by volunteering your time at a soup kitchen or shelter.  Letting people know they still have people in their lives that care about them is one of the greatest gifts of all.

No matter how you decide to spend this holiday season, these tips are a surefire way to help you get through the coming weeks without accumulating debt.  Just keep in mind that when you need representation from a law firm, Nikolaus & Hohenadel, LLP should be the first thing that comes to mind. You can work with an experienced attorney from both a debtor’s and creditor’s perspective in our office. We have offices in Lancaster, Columbia, Elizabethtown, Strasburg and Quarryville. 

Contact us today to set up an appointment.