“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like” – Will Smith 

The Holiday Season tends to lure us all into getting into more spending and debt.  Big-item buying and unplanned spending is as bad for personal as it is for business finances.  Festive Season has the magic of making us all a bit merrier and light-handed when it comes to shopping, parties and Christmas gifts, but most of the time the headache from unnecessary debt comes “the morning after”.

No matter how generous and ecstatic you feel, think twice before putting another item in your Christmas shopping cart.  You can’t avoid Christmas spending, but you can surely avoid putting yourself in a financial predicament that could lead to cash flow problems due to more debt as you start the New Year.   Follow these tips to keep personal or business debt from ruining your celebration of the Festive Season.

Debt-Free Tip #1: Make a list of budgeted spending and …check it twice!

Set a spending budget before you start spending and stick with it.  Pre-setting a limit on how much you can spend will do you a lot of good.  Don’t just think about it – but make a list.  Creating a specific budget for individual items, being it gifts, food, travel or party costs, will give you more time to focus on your total spending.  Seeing the whole financial picture in advance will   set your priorities right to avoid unnecessary debt and you will be in a position to cut the spending budget to a minimum.

Debt-Free Tip #2:  Let your credit card go on vacation!

This December – leave your credit card “on holiday”.  Reaching for it this month when we are all in extra generous mood, is a disaster waiting to happen.  With so many offerings of discounts and sales, your little plastic friend will definitely persuade you to overindulge yourself.  The next thing you know would be unnecessary debt carried into the New Year!

Debt-Free Tip #3:  It’s never too late to improve your cash flow!

December is here, but it doesn’t mean you’re too late to improve your cash flow.  Many employers provide gifts (and quite often they are monetary gifts) for the Festive Season.  Try to add this gain to your cash flow, rather than to spend on something you do not need.  If you are a business owner, you’ll be also surprised at the fact that most debtors try to get rid of their debt just before the New Year.  Call this unnecessary superstition – this is a great cash collecting month.  So instead of focusing on how much you can spend – focus on how much you can improve your cash flow!

Debt-Free Tip #4:  Personalize the Holiday Cheer

As years go by, big spending on gift-giving has become too commercial and impersonal.  The hustle and bustle of our daily lives gives us too little time to bestow importance to what we give to the people we care.  This is also the case with your customers and clients.  Try to create or craft something very personal for your dear ones!   Gratitude and appreciation is something that is lacking in our daily life, being at home or work.  Present the people you care about your gratitude and appreciation in a personal letter.  Kind and sincere words are the best gift you can give to people. Check the web for ideas and use your own two hands.  Not only will you save, but you will be living the true meaning of the Season – have a deeply rewarding feeling of connection for all involved, including you or your business.

Merry Christmas! xoxo`