7 Tips for Making the Most of the Holidays When You’re Thinking About Bankruptcy
Many people find the holiday season stressful for a variety of reasons. For some people, it’s traveling and getting together with family that gives them stress. For others, it’s the money.
What You Need to Know if You’re Dealing with Financial Stress This Holiday Season
From holiday commercials to posts on social media, it’s hard not to encounter daily reminders that the holidays are right around the corner. If you find the holidays stressful because you are struggling financially—and perhaps thinking about filing for bankruptcy—here are some tips and reminders to help you keep some perspective:
1. Not Everyone is Spending Like Crazy on the Holidays
The first thing to remember is that not everyone is spending like crazy on the holidays. While commercials and social media posts might make it seem like everyone is out shopping and filling up their closets with gifts for their friends and family, this is not the case. Lots of people are struggling just like you, whether it seems like it or not.
As you prepare for the holiday season, it is important to focus on yourself. How much can you comfortably spend without skipping payments or going into debt? If your answer is, “Not much,” that’s totally fine. No one who cares about you would want you to go into debt to buy them a gift. Set a modest budget, stick to it, and don’t let advertisements or social media posts influence how you approach your holiday season.
2. A Little Can Go a Long Way
You don’t need to spend a lot to give thoughtful and meaningful gifts. If you shop around and get creative, a little can go a very long way.
Buying food for the holidays can be a source of stress for many people too. Food is already expensive—and if you need to buy Thanksgiving dinner or another holiday meal for your entire family, this alone can take a significant chunk out of your holiday budget.
So, what can you do? Most retailers and grocery stores offer holiday deals, and you don’t need to buy the fanciest gifts or most expensive foods to host a memorable holiday. Generally, waiting until the last minute will lead to paying the highest prices, so shop early if you can.
3. Get Together So That Everyone Pitches In (and Saves Money)
Getting together with friends or extended family can also be a way to help everyone save money during the holidays. Consider hosting a potluck dinner so that no one has to pay for a full holiday meal. Gift exchanges also provide a fun and memorable experience without everyone needing to buy gifts for the whole family. If you organize a gift exchange, set a budget that you (and everyone else) should be able to comfortably afford.
4. You Can Start Saving for Next Year
If you can’t afford to host a big holiday meal or buy all of the gifts you’d like to buy this year, go ahead and start saving for next year. If you save $10 per month, you’ll have $120 set aside to spend next holiday season. For many people, committing to this type of savings plan can help them feel more comfortable with how they decide to approach the holidays—and it can help them rest easy knowing that they won’t face the same financial stress next year.
When it comes to the current holiday season, you can decide what this approach means for you. For example, perhaps you and your spouse or partner can agree to forego gifts for a year, and maybe you can tell your children that your family is focusing on the experience this year rather than prioritizing gifts. Maybe you can all make handmade gifts or write letters to one another. There are lots of options—and, remember, there are lots of other families that are in your shoes.
5. You Don’t Need to (and Shouldn’t) Rack Up Credit Card Debt
There is no need to rack up credit card debt during the holiday season. This isn’t what the holidays are about. Plus, if you buy gifts with your credit card and only make the minimum monthly payments, you could end up paying well over double (or even triple) the price you paid at the register.
Credit card debt is one of the main reasons why people decide to file for bankruptcy. While taking on credit card debt might be your only option in some circumstances, it isn’t your only option during the holidays. You don’t need to rack up debt to enjoy the holiday season, and there is absolutely no reason to feel bad about only spending what you can afford.
6. There Are Lots of Misconceptions About Filing for Bankruptcy
If you are thinking about bankruptcy this holiday season, you are not alone. Hundreds of thousands of people file for bankruptcy each year.
As you weigh your options, it is important to make informed decisions—and, unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there. To ensure that you are making informed decisions, we encourage you to read these myths about filing for bankruptcy, and it will be helpful to learn about the true cost of filing for bankruptcy as well.
7. Filing for Bankruptcy (Before or After the Holidays) Can Eliminate Your Financial Stress
Finally, whether you file for bankruptcy before the holidays or wait until after the holiday season to file, making the decision to move forward can provide immediate relief from your financial stress. An experienced personal bankruptcy lawyer will be able to help you choose the best option for your individual circumstances, and you can get started with a free initial consultation.
Request a Free and Confidential Consultation with Personal Bankruptcy Lawyer Georgette Miller
To request a free initial consultation with personal bankruptcy lawyer Georgette Miller, please call 866-964-6529 or contact us online. We will schedule a time for you to speak with Ms. Miller in confidence as soon as possible.