It’s less than two weeks until the holidays – can you believe it? With the holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time to discuss holiday spending. The holidays are supposed to be about spending quality time with your family, not overspending on your credit card. If you don’t want to start the new year in debt, here are some tips to spend responsibly during the holidays.


  1. Skip credit card convenience cheques

It’s no coincidence credit cards send out “gifts” in the form of convenience cheques. Before you cash in cheque, it’s important to understand how costly they can be. Convenience cheques are similar to cash advances. You’ll start paying interest the moment you cash in the cheque. Avoid them at all cost!


  1. Set a holiday spending limit

It’s important to budget year round, especially during the holidays. Set a holiday spending limit so you don’t end up with an unpleasant surprise in the form of a credit card statement in January. Not only is setting a spending limit a good way to avoid overspending, it’s a good way to avoid hurt feelings. If your family and you agree on a spending limit of say $50, it’s less likely anyone will end up underspending.


  1. Don’t wait until the last minute

Being a last minute shopper can be stressful and costly. Black Friday typically has the best deals of the year. The problem is if you aren’t organized and don’t have your holiday shopping list in order, you won’t be able to get the best deals. Don’t wait until the last minute and have your holiday shopping list in mind before Black Friday. Speaking of Black Friday, the best deals aren’t always in store. Consider shopping online – there are plenty of good deals to be had.


  1. Give gifts from the heart

Whether you’re on a tight budget or you’re looking to be frugal this year, consider giving a gift from the heart. Have you ever heard of the saying, it’s the thought that counts? For example, instead of giving your father a $50 gift card to Home Depot, consider something more personal and heartfelt like a handmade gift or portrait. If you’re not that artistic, there are plenty of creative gifts that can be found online for less.

There you have it, 4 easy ways to make sure you don’t start out the new year saddled with debt that can come back to haunt you. Happy shopping!