3 tips for avoiding bankruptcy this holiday season

With summer ending, the holidays are just around the corner. If you are on a tight budget, you may have a lot of concerns about the holiday season already. Buying presents and decorations can put a strain on your finances.

This can be especially troubling if you are dealing with other expenses and struggling to make ends meet. If you are not careful, holiday shopping could put you one step closer to bankruptcy. Here are some tips to avoid bankruptcy during the holidays.

1. Make a list and check it twice

Lists are not just for Santa Claus. If you are serious about saving money while holiday shopping, make a list of everyone you wish to buy presents for and figure out how much you can afford to spend for each person. Keep in mind that you will likely want to save bigger purchases on family members and close friends. You can spend a lot less on casual acquaintances and co-workers.

2. Look out for deals

Stick to sales, clearance items and free shipping. Of course, Black Friday weekend is one of the best times to shop for gifts, but make sure you do not get caught up in the hype and overspend. There are also last-minute deals right before Christmas comes around.

3. Give experiences instead of gifts

You do not need to give a physical item you buy from a store to everyone on your list. Try being creative by having authentic experiences with certain people. Perhaps you can make handmade gifts. Maybe you take a group of family members out volunteering at a food pantry or animal shelter. Create new traditions. Think outside the gift box.

Bad budgeting, overspending and credit card debt are some of the main causes of bankruptcy. This holiday season, do not just put everything on your credit card and ignore the consequences. Follow these tips to spend more responsibly.