Gift Yourself Less Debt

by Kayc

Posted on 10/30/2019


It’s that time of year again. We’re quickly approaching the end of the year & holiday season. With little over two months left until the holidays, it’s important to start pre planning to minimize your spending costs & avoid getting into more debt! According to the National Retail Federation, Americans spent $707.5 billion during the 2018 holiday season. Remember, you don’t have to go broke or spend it all to show someone how much you care (love) them. 

Determine Your Income

Figure out your personal expenses first. Don’t ruin your credit, deplete your savings, or fall behind on financial commitments you have. Once you have determined what is left after your expenses, you can decide what your “total” spending budget will be.

Calculate Expenses

Make a list & check it often! List out who will be receiving gifts & the ideal amount you’d like to spend on each person. The more realistic & accurate you can be, the easier it will be to stick to your proposed budget.

Price Match

Do your research before making a purchase. Chances of finding what you are looking for at a better price is very likely. Not to mention, most retail stores offer “price match”. Each store has a list of competitors they will agree to price match if you find the item at a lower price. 

Put Gifts On Layaway

Layaway is a system of paying a deposit to secure an item for later purchase. Once the item is paid in full, you are able to pick it up & take it home. Every store is different. We’ve put together a brief overview of what each store has to offer with its layaway program. Make sure you read thoroughly through the terms of each store before moving forward. Layaway can be a budget-friendly alternative to buying with credit cards. Unless you plan on paying off your credit card in full, remember you will be charged interest for any unpaid purchases.

  • Walmart

    • Service Fee: $0

    • Down Payment: $20 or 20% (whicher is greater)

    • Cancellation Fee: $10 (in some states)

  • Gamestop

    • Service Fee: $0

    • Down Payment: $25

  • Kmart

    • Service Fee: $10

    • Down Payment: $10

    • Cancellation Fee: $20

  • Marshalls

    • Service Fee: $5

    • Down Payment: $10 or 10% (whichever is greater)

    • Cancellation Fee: $5

  • Big Lots

    • Service Fee: $0

    • Down Payment: $0

  • Sears

    • Service Fee: $10

    • Down Payment: $10 or 10% (whicher is greater)

    • Cancellation Fee: $20

  • TJ Maxx

    • Service Fee: Varies By Location

    • Down Payment: $10 or 10% (whichever is greater)

    • Cancellation Fee: $5

Black Friday

Black Friday is a great day to take advantage of some of the lowest prices of the year. Walmart, Target, & Best Buy compete with each other when it comes to their product pricing. They’ve also started throwing in incentives like a bonus gift card with purchase. Every year their ads get leaked early. Giving you plenty of extra time to map out your spending. It gets even better. Don’t like crowds? Shop on Cyber Monday instead! Same great savings from the comfort of your bed. 

This holiday season, shop smart. Don’t start the new year with zero savings & a bigger debt problem. Make it a point to make this year's holiday season less stressful for yourself, while fulfilling everyone's wish list.

  • What is the best debt relief option for you?