When to Seek Credit Counselling – The Early Warning Signs

Financial problems can seem to creep up on us out of nowhere. It’s surprising how many people seem to be doing fine with their finances and then within a fairly short amount of time they encounter serious financial difficulties. Many times, the truth for a lot of people who find themselves in this situation is that they missed the first signs that there was a problem until it was too late.

With really easy access to credit in Canada, high levels of personal debt, and an uncertain economy, a lot of people are at risk of financial difficulty in the future.

What to Watch Out for – Signs of Financial Problems

If you’re feeling uneasy about your finances, that alone can be one of the first early warning signs of financial trouble. 

To help you figure out if you’re vulnerable, here are a few telling signs that can reveal the early stages of financial problems:

  • You freely use your debit card presuming money is available (but you’re not always confident the funds will be there)
  • You regularly use your credit card in place of your debit card or cash for normal expenses
  • You only pay the minimum amounts on your credit cards
  • You do not have a spending plan or budget to keep your expenses in line
  • You sometimes find yourself spending more than you earn
  • You barely have any savings available to handle seasonal or annual expenses or emergencies
  • You find yourself counting on your overdraft or line of credit to handle your expenses for the month
  • You have withdrawn money out of your RRSPs or TFSAs to manage urgent financial situations

If it seems as though two or more of these warning signs apply to your situation, then it’s time to take a hard look at your overall financial picture and how you are handling your finances. 

Remember, if you and your family are experiencing any of the financial warning signs, we are here to help. Give us a call today and start your journey to financial health.

Christmas on a Budget: 7 Tips from the Trenches

With only a few weeks before Christmas we’ve got some tips to help you manage your budget, your spending, and your stress.

General Tip for All Occasions: Set an overall budget for Christmas then break down a budget for each person you’ll be buying for…and then stick to it. 

And now the Christmas ideas!

Tip 1: Try to think back on past gifts that were a big hit – we would bet they were thoughtful and meaningful rather than just being expensive. Planning a creative or unique gift that costs less is a great way to keep costs down and the joy up!

Tip 2: Consider doing something different this year. Traditions are wonderful, but shouldn’t cause financial stress. Create new traditions like family gift exchange, one gift from Santa, giving up the stockings for adult kids, or making your own gifts. 

Tip 3: Plan ahead and shop ahead but don’t buy (too much) ahead – often the gift giving fever hits and we have the tendency to buy even though we’re “done”. Make your plan and stick to it!

Tip 4: Combine forces for kids gifts. Too often gift opening can be overwhelming for kids – under the tree might look full to bursting, but that doesn’t translate to a better Christmas! Try thinking of fewer, more valuable gifts and then reach out to family and regular gift-swappers and see who would be up for going in on a gift. It’ll lower everyone’s stress, create wonderful memories, allow for less post-Christmas clutter cleanup, and keep budgets in line. 

Tip 5: Start purging the valuable items that you no longer use, and set up consignment or Facebook marketplace sales for those items – as they sell, put the money aside for Christmas.

Tip 6: Make before you buy. Consumables (food, homemade bath and spa items, candles, etc.) are all fairly inexpensive to make and are a huge hit during Christmas! 

Tip 7: Download a savings app that allows you to save on your schedule, (there’s even a function for you to save the change on purchases you make, rounding up to the nearest dollar.) 

When you’re doing Christmas on a budget, you’ll need to be a bit more creative and disciplined, but January will be a lot less stressful.

7 Creative Options to Reduce Debt

  1. Use credit card rewards or cash back to pay off debt

Your credit card probably helped you get into debt, so why not use it to help you get out of debt?

If you have a cash-back card, claim your cash-back rewards every month and use the money to make an extra payment on the debt you’re working on paying off. 

If you have a rewards card that lets you redeem for points or merchandise, redeem for things you’d have spent cash on such as grocery gift cards or airline tickets. Then, use the money you’d have spent on these items to make an extra payment on what you owe. 

  1. Make yourself some visual aids

Staying motivated can be one of the trickiest parts of paying off debt — but it becomes easier if you have some visual aids to help you. 

Consider making a paper chain with each link representing $100 or $1,000 of your debt (depending how much you owe). As you pay off each amount, you’ll move a chain from the link. You’ll be able to see your progress in tangible form with this approach, which could motivate you to do more to pay down debt. 

You could also draw a thermometer on paper with your debt in increments that you colour in each time you pay off a set amount.

Whatever visual cues you use, the purpose is to make sure you’re able to see the progress you’re making so you actually stay inspired to send all these extra payments towards your debt.

  1. Create monthly challenges for yourself

Sending extra cash to debt can sometimes make you feel deprived, but you could make it fun by challenging yourself to save as much as possible in certain areas each month and send the extra to your debt.

For example, for one month you could challenge yourself by seeing how low your food costs could go by making all of your meals at home with healthy recipes using less expensive ingredients – even buying some in bulk that go a long way. Whatever you save on groceries compared to a typical month, send immediately to debt repayment.

The next month, you could challenge yourself to see if you could find only free activities to do for the month so you can redirect your entire entertainment budget to debt payoff.

If you mix up the challenges monthly, it should stay fun and you won’t feel burdened by all the extra cash you’re sending to your creditors. 

  1. Increase your debt payments with income from a side gig

The more extra you can pay on your debt, the faster your debt will be paid down. 

Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can cut out of your budget to make extra debt payments. But you can increase your income substantially by picking up some side work — and can use this extra cash to pay off what you owe ASAP. 

From selling on Etsy or Facebook Marketplace to dog walking or ride sharing, options for side gigs abound. Just pick something you can do with your spare time and immediately put the extra cash towards paying off debt. 

  1. Turn coupon savings into debt payments

Using coupons can save you money on just about everything you buy. Whether you clip coupons from the paper, print them off your computer, buy them from coupon clipping sites, or search for promo codes online, you can score big savings with a few simple hacks to the way you shop. 

Any time you save with a coupon, why not use that cash for debt repayment? If your bank account is linked to your loan account, you can generally make an extra payment immediately for the amount of your coupon. This can work especially well for credit cards, which allow you to make payments as many times as you want each month. 

If your lender doesn’t accept multiple monthly payments, just move the saved money into a special savings account earmarked for extra debt repayments. When you make your monthly payment, add the money from the savings account to it.

  1. Automate extra payments

Setting up automatic payments of your bills is a great way to make sure you don’t miss a payment. But you can and should set up automatic payments for more than the minimum. 

In fact, why not try inching up the automatic payments you’re making just a little bit every week. If you’re paying an extra $100 on the debt you’re working on paying down, try upping that automated payment to $125 this month and then $150 next month.

By slowly increasing the extra payment, you probably won’t miss the extra cash. Just keep inching up that payment amount until you find you really can’t live on what’s left. Then scale back a bit. 

  1. Enlist the help of an accountability buddy

For dieters, there are tons of groups where you have to go each week and weigh in. This helps keep you accountable — and it can also make losing weight more fun when you’re doing it with others. 

Why not try the same approach to debt payoff? If you have one or more friends working on paying down debt, set up weekly or monthly check-ins. You can each share the progress you’ve made towards becoming debt free, and can even exchange tips and tricks on how you’re cutting spending to pay off what you owe. 

If you are still struggling with paying down the debt and you are doing your best, call the Rita Anderson & Associates Team to help you develop a great plan & put you on the road to good financial health.

4 Easy Ways to Live Within Your Means

1. Know your means.
Keep track of all income and expenses, including all forms of income (including  Child Tax, etc.) and all fixed expenses (rent, car, bills, food, insurance, etc.)
If those numbers don’t match, then you need to start getting creative – give us a call and we can help right away.

2. Cut expenses and simplify your groceries
Grocery bills are one of the easiest to control, and one of the first to get out of hand, especially with people eating at home more. A few tips to cut down on your groceries:

  • Make a meal plan and a grocery list (and stick to it!)
  • Instead of buying convenience food, buy ingredients

3. Look at the level and style of your “wants”
You do need some joy in your plan if you’re going to stick to it, so often the easiest way to cut down on expenses is not to eliminate areas, but find cheaper alternatives for the things you love! A few tips to keep the love flowing without the price tag:

  • Instead of a Starbucks coffee for $6, get a Tim’s for $2.
  • Shop on sale or in second hand stores
  • Pay for clothing and shoe repairs instead of buying new

Other creative money savers:

  • Get creative with your vacations, plan group vacations for different packages and rates, and shop the deals for flights. And think ahead – planning and saving for your vacations in advance can be a great way to save money, get the best deals, and not scrimp on fun.
  • If your kids play sports at a competitive level, start thinking outside the box on ways to lower the costs – fundraising, volunteering, bartering are all great ways to be involved while saving money.
    Having the team book rooms at group rates, and planning trips and tournaments in advance can help to offset those unexpected bills through the season as well.
  • Shop around for products that are on sale, or even look at no name products – often the same company will sell the same item at different price points with different brand names – trying new things can add up to big savings.

4. Avoid impulse buying
One easy way to cut down on expenses is to remove impulse spending – which can be easier said than done. A few ways to keep your spending in check:

  • Remove the Amazon app from your phone
  • Implement the 72 hour rule for all non-essential purchases – if you wait 72 hours, often the desire fades, and you also get a chance to shop around for a better deal!

5 tips to avoid hurting your future financial self during Covid19


1. Don’t defer payment on anything you can afford to keep up

While many banks are offering deferrals, they come with a price. Paying extra interest on interest to get a deferral when you have the money to cover your mortgage (even if that means cutting discretionary spending) is never a good idea.

The same goes for paying bills, debt, and other essential payments. The money will have to be paid back eventually, and putting it off until tomorrow comes with a potential extra cost in the form of interest, late fees, and other costs plus extra future stress.

2. If you’re on a fixed income, consider adding up to 10% to your expenses as potentially the pandemic may cause some inflation.

Now is the time to be cautious and realistic in future planning with your money.

The pandemic is most likely going to be affecting everything from tax rates to shipping costs to cost of goods, and no one can predict exactly how the world will look this time next year. If you are living on a pension, disability, or another form of fixed income, you will have to take a good look at your expenses and may have to pay up to 10% more for the essentials overall.

Planning for this higher base expense now will pay off in the long run.

3. Focus on needs versus wants and save every dollar you can (don’t just find new ways to spend.)

If you’re finding yourself with more time to think and less places to spend, you have a good chance of coming out of this situation ahead or at at least on par with where you were before. That is, as long as you don’t replace your former daily Tim’s with extra purchases of snacks and your regular eating out with curb-side takeout.

Focusing on your needs and upping your savings today will keep you in healthy financial shape heading into the summer and beyond.

4. Avoid impulse or emotional buying online

The one thing most of us are still able to do these days is shop online, and with the increased convenience and free shipping that is being advertised across social media daily, it can be easy to disconnect from your goals and hit the “Buy Now” button without a second thought. Impulse buying isn’t just a chocolate bar at the grocery store, it’s the hidden spending you convince yourself you “need” to do – especially when you’re emotional or bored – that adds up.
Hide your credit cards, and leave your Amazon account alone. You’ll thank yourself later.

5. Stick to your budget for food and save any extras for the “unknowables” in the future

Food is one of our highest expenses these days, and the cost of goods aren’t going down. It’s easy to want to treat yourself to desserts, treats, snacks, wine, beer, convenience foods when we’re stressed and uncertain – it’s not called “comfort food” for no reason! These days, it’s even more important to make and follow a grocery list.

As easy as it is to spend extra, saving even a few dollars a week on grocery extras add up fast too.

Top 5 ways to teach kids about money & budgeting

Make it a lesson

Right now, you can incorporate budgeting into home schooling. Create a simple, age appropriate scenario: for younger children have them work out saving up for a new bike by mowing lawns and saving their weekly allowance, right up to teenagers looking for part time jobs who are planning to go to university in a few years setting a budget for how many hours they’ll need to work to save for what they want.

Make it real

Let the kids create a grocery list with coupons and flyers that will stay on budget (and let them shop with you to see the choices out there). This is a great way to discuss brand names, the value of goods, and wants versus needs – all while getting a family errand done together.

Make it future-based

Let them shop around online to create a new “dream bedroom” or other high value purchase and then have them calculate the full cost – including taxes and shipping – and find out how long they would have to save given their current allowance, part time job, or other income.

Make it normal

Set an example and let them see and hear your budgeting in real life. Show them the family finances (to a degree they can understand) and let them help make choices. Many kids hear parents arguing about spending, but never really get to see the positives, the budgets, or know the value of their wants. As you make choices based on the money available, you’re teaching them by example, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your budget that way too.

Make it a lifestyle

Avoid impulse buys – even small ones at the grocery store – and show them the value of postponing purchases. If they see that budgeting isn’t about punishment, but rather about hitting goals that matter, they’ll be less likely to ask you to go off track, and can even become great little accountability partners.

What can you do during Covid19 to help improve your financial picture?

Cut back on discretionary spending

Discretionary spending is every expense that goes beyond your essential needs. Housing costs, utilities, basic groceries, medical, insurance and transportation are all essential expenses, and they need to come first when the future is uncertain. No matter your employment status, no one can predict how the economy is going to affect us, so even cutting back on one or two non-essentials will help build up your nest egg, especially important during this time. 

Review your budget and look ahead

Your pre-covid budget might not match your current circumstances for any number of reasons. We tend to notice areas where we’re saving and not notice the places where we’re spending more. While working from home might be cutting down on your transportation costs, you might have also taken a pay cut, so make sure that your budget reflects your true circumstances. And during these constantly changing times, keeping the budget flexible and reviewing it even more regularly than normal is important.

Take a look at your priorities and see how they’ve changed

Were you saving up for a big trip? Saving to send the kids to sports camps over the summer? Those things might not be happening now, and you need to decide how to manage the money you’re saving while managing reduced income and higher essential expenses as cost of goods rises. Take a look at your priorities and decide how to manage your money in the face of the ever-changing future.

Learn a new skill that can take one expense off your list

Take a look at things you spend money on and see where you can learn new skills to “Do-It-Yourself” and save money! Making gifts, learning to tailor or sew to update your wardrobe, even making your on soaps, masks, and other new “essentials” are all great ideas to save money – and maybe even earn a bit on the side. 

Looking at where you spend money – spa trips, nail salons, home improvements and so many other areas are all chances to up your own skills and save a bit of money.

Give yourself a financial health check

We’ll be talking more in-depth about financial health checks in future blog posts, for right now, it’s enough to focus on the basics. Financial health means that you are following a realistic budget that suits your lifestyle, living within your means, rarely using credit – and having a plan to pay it back when you do, saving money for emergencies, avoiding impulse buying, and only having 1-2 credit cards.

Finding some areas needing adjustments? Now is a great time to start making small changes to your financial life to come out of this even stronger!

Are You Spending Too Much on Subscription Services?

Are You Spending Too Much on Subscription Services?

Subscription services are changing the way people buy. Almost everything is available through a subscription service today. TV shows, movies, goodie boxes, music, food, fitness, even video games are trending towards subscription-based services.

While there are plenty of pros to these services – everything is On-Demand and easy to access – there is a dark side as well. At first glance, these services appear to be affordable on their own, but more and more consumers are discovering the true cost of monthly and annual subscriptions services.

So what are the negatives? And how can you avoid having these subscription services burn a hole in your wallet?



  1. Do the Math


 The problem is, most people don’t know the total amount being spent on monthly subscriptions. A common mistake people make is not adding up the combined costs of these services in order to properly budget.

We’ve somehow trained ourselves to avoid doing the math. We fall victim to effective marketing and instant gratification. Many of these services look great when we first sign up – it’s only a few bucks per month, right? – or come with attractive free trials or promotions. Because of the apparent low cost, free trials, and automatic payments, we hardly notice the real effect these subscriptions have on our finances.

Consumers need to know how these expenses stack up on top of their existing bills and expenses. By taking the time to do the math, adding up how much these subscriptions are costing them, it’s easier to cut the fat and dedicate money elsewhere.

Consider the breakdown of these subscriptions: a consumer subscribed to two streaming services like Netflix ($14.99) and CraveTV ($9.99) , one music streaming service like Spotify ($14.99) , a fitness service like Peloton ($49.99) , and a meal-kit service such as Hello Fresh for 2 meals per week ($40.00) , they’re paying upwards of $250+ per month before tax!

Individually, these appear affordable. Together they form a big monthly expense.

Ask Yourself: Is there a better opportunity for this money?

If these subscriptions are eating at your finances, or worse, putting you into debt, there should be no debate on cancelling them. But even if you can afford the extra costs, think about what this money could be used for. What other financial goals can you dedicate this to? Is this money better suited for an emergency fund?



  1. Don’t Fall for the Bait and Switch


 If these services do one thing well, it’s their ability to market themselves well enough to make people at least want a taste. The problem here is the majority of these services require you to sign up and provide payment details for that free sample.

Free Trials like those offered by Disney+ ($90/Year) provide a free trial of their service at no charge in exchange for your credit card information. If you’re not on the ball, that free trial turns into a paid annual subscription. Everyone starts free trials with the best intentions to cancel before it’s too late, but people get busy and usually, there is little to no notice that the trial is over.

Then there are the discounted first tries. Meal service companies like Hello Fresh will offer heavy discounts to get people to try their service. After seeing how great and simple the process is, people are easier to convince to pay full price, even though it might not be economical.

Then there are perceived savings. Subscription services like Amazon Prime ($80/Year) will offer free shipping for subscribers. These savings look great for months like December when you could be having a lot of items shipped, but do the savings offset the remainder of the year?

Ask Yourself: Are there better options?

Would that Amazon order have had free shipping anyway? Can you find recipes online and have your groceries delivered, or even pick up ingredients? Is your subscription offering you things you can’t find elsewhere for less money? If you needed a ‘deal’ to bait you into the service, chances are it isn’t that essential to you.



  1. Beware Stealthy Renewals


One huge issue with subscription services is that consumers are never motivated to cancel subscriptions that they’ve become disenchanted with. Subscribers then begin paying for things that they’re no longer using.

Netflix may ask you if you’re still watching, but will never ask if you’re positive you want to pay for another month.

Subscription payments easily fly under the radar, appearing on your credit card without notice. This makes it easy for consumers to “wait until next time” or disillusion themselves with the idea that they’ll return to it eventually. Because payments aren’t realized until it’s too late, expenses continue to pile up. This can be especially problematic with annual expenses, as they tend to come at a higher cost.

Ask Yourself: Am I getting value out of this?

Consider which subscriptions you’re getting your monies worth (and actually need), then immediately cancel others. If you’re on a yearly subscription, try finding ways to make use of them, but set multiple reminders for yourself to cancel before the renewal. Losing out on a few days, weeks, or even months of something you paid for but don’t use is much better than paying again.

As subscription services become more common, consumers will be presented with more and more options. It becomes just as important to monitor the use of these services as it is to budget for them. Setting reminders for yourself, or even taking advantage of helpful apps to manage your subscriptions and keep a record of everything you’re spending.

If you find your monthly payments are getting out of hand, or you need advice managing your finances, you can always speak to one of our representatives!

Pay Off Holiday Debt Faster

Pay Off Holiday Debt Faster

It’s no secret that the Holidays can be the most expensive time of the year. It can be lots of fun too with different parties to attend, gift giving, and family dinners. It seems everything has a cost, no matter how small. Even the little things like a small hostess gift and themed napkins at home can easily add up.

Nearly half of all Canadians are drowning in debt as per a recent article reported by BNN Bloomberg October 2019. You may feel that you fall into this category once the holidays are over. You may have even felt like this before the holidays even started. If you leave this debt unchecked, it can hang around all year, even into the next holiday season.

It’s in everyone’s best interest to pay off Holiday debt right away in the New Year. Don’t let your debt get out of control. Below are some guidelines on how you can eliminate your Holiday debt and get your finances in control.



Making a Game Plan

If you want to pay your debt off, you’re going to need to strategize.

  1. Start by writing down what you owe.
  2. Estimate the interest you’re looking at having to pay until the debt is paid off.
  3. Review the interest rate. Seeing the number will help it sink in.
  4. Try to get your debt with the best interest rate option. The lower the better!
  5. Break down what’s coming in and what’s going out.
  6. Tally your income sources, bills and necessities.
  7. List all your other expenses – everything you spend and pay out regularly.
  8. Remember to prioritize your needs versus your wants.
  9. Priority should be on all your utilities, mortgage/rent, groceries, gas for work, vehicle for work, childcare, etc.
  10. Total your income minus your priorities. This is the extra money you will put towards paying off your holiday debt, along with any other debt and responsibilities you have in your household.
  11. If you have money left over, ask yourself: which debt will I pay off first after ensuring all debt is paid their minimum payment?
  12. If you have no money left over after your priorities, ask yourself: what expenses can be cut back on or eliminated completely? Once you have done this, do you have money left over to pay on debt?
  13. Consider a reasonable amount of time in which you can pay off your debt. Break it down and see if there’s even flexibility to improve on that date.
  14. With a date in mind, you’re able to deconstruct your game plan into months, weeks, and days, making goals realistic and attainable.
  15. Plus, when there’s a finish line, you not only strive for it, you strive for it faster.
  16. It’s proven that when people are within reach of their goals, they start putting in more effort. Think of ways to reward yourself once you reach your goal!



The most crucial part of your game plan? Avoiding more debt while paying off old debt. It will be impossible to make progress if you’re continuously adding more money (and interest!) to the pile.

Good tip: Put the credit card away until you’ve hit your goals.

Remember, what is done is done. If you realize now that you overspent, then reflect and take notes on how to address gift giving going forward. Maybe consider a more realistic budget amount for next year and put savings away for this goal.

Did the Holidays put your finances in a tough place? Do you need help creating a game plan to get you out of debt? Contact us and we’d be happy to assist!

5 Tips to Help You Avoid Debt This Holiday Season

With the Holiday Season just around the corner, it may seem too early to start talking about gift buying and holiday planning. However, this is the best time of year to iron out your strategy for maintaining a balanced budget as you head into the New Year.

The holidays can be a stressful time of year for anyone. For people who are struggling financially, or people on the brink of going into debt, the stress brought on by the holidays can be overwhelming.

There are steps you can take to alleviate this stress, or even avoid it entirely. By setting a budget and being mindful during the holidays, you’ll discover that the season is far more enjoyable when you’re not worrying about money.

Here are our 5 tips to help avoid debt – and stay stress free – this holiday season:



  1. Make a List, Check it Twice


 First thing, set yourself a spending limit. Be sure to keep this number inside your means to avoid going into debt.

Look at your finances for the next couple of weeks before the holidays and figure out what’s coming in, what’s going out, and what can be saved ahead of time. This will give you a nice idea on how much disposable income you’ll be able to commit to the holidays.

Next, make your holiday list. This needs to include gifts, groceries, holiday parties, decorations, and nights out. Anything you can think of, add it to the list and attach a price to it. Double check your list to ensure there’s no surprises when the holidays are here.

Having a hard time predicting all of this? Look to past years and write down everything you can think of, and work from that.

By having a budget pre-set, you’ll be able to refer back to it when the time  comes, and you’ll be more likely to stick to the plan.



  1. Season of Giving


 Over the next few weeks, there’s going to be more temptation to spend your money than any other time of year. This is the season for new releases, retail promotions, and new delicious-looking foods.

If you’re going to keep your finances in check, it would be wise to ignore these temptations.

Remember, the holidays are about giving to others, not spending on yourself. Scale back on unnecessary personal expenses like holiday themed coffees, and do your best not to do any shopping for yourself. It’s easy to ignore personal gifts because they don’t sit on your budgeted list of expenses. But each item will add up, and that online sale might be the difference between going into debt or staying above water in the New Year.

Plus, try and stay positive by understanding that you’ll likely be on the receiving end of some gifts and holiday cheer yourself.



  1. Cash In


If you didn’t already know, people spend 10-15% more when paying with a credit card versus paying with cash. Combine that with the stat that 30% of Canadians admit to not paying their credit cards on time and you have a recipe for bad debt.

We already know that the holidays are an expensive time of year filled with temptation, and credit cards give people the false impression that they have more money than they actually do. So, here is a simple tip:

Pay for everything with cash – or at least as much as you can.

You’ll be more mindful of what you’re spending if you pay with cash, and you’ll become a pro at staying within your budget.

*Bonus tip for shopping online: Put your budget amount on paper in front of you. As you make purchases, subtract the amount from that number. Always having what’s remaining on a budget in front of you will help reign in on spending.



  1. Look for Extra Money


 The holidays are filled with opportunities for discounts and deals. If you become a bargain hunter, you’ll be able to find extra spending money in the savings you accumulate.

With the internet, it shouldn’t be hard to research your favorite stores and brands, or the favorite stores and brands of those you’re buying for, and find promotional codes and discounts.

Sign up for email lists to your favorite retailers so you get the inside scoop and exclusive promotions.

Take advantage of free shipping for online orders.

There’s as much excitement in finding the deal as there is savings, so have fun with it.



  1. Cut Corners


Finally, in order to stay within your budget and avoid going into debt this holiday season, you’ll need to become a master at cutting corners in order to save money.

There are so many little incremental items that can add up over the holidays. Fortunately, by cutting these out, or at least being mindful of these items, your savings can add up just the same.

Save on wrapping paper. Buy from a dollar store, or even use paper bags and decorations. There’s no reason for you to spend too much money on something that’s essentially going into the garbage.

Are you buying new decorations for the tree each year? Perhaps consider how much money is going into decorating and find more economic solutions like scaling back, re-using older decorations, or even making your own.

Even reconsider how you host guests. That $8 box of chocolate turtles on the coffee table can be generic brand. Buy boxed wine instead of bottles to cut your alcohol bill in half. And never be afraid to ask guests to bring something, especially if they offer.

Look at what’s costing you money and find options that cut that reduce that expense.

Nothing puts a damper on the holiday spirit than debt looming over your head. Follow these tricks to keep yourself out of trouble during the holidays, ensuring they’re merry and bright.


Worried your debt will stop you from enjoying your holidays? Get ahead of your debt by contacting us today!