December 11, 2018
Top Five Ways to Beat the Financial Stress of the Holidays
Feel like you’re going to put yourself in debt preparing for the holidays? You’re not alone. In 2017, Americans with pre-holiday debt admitted to adding $1, 054 to that pre-existing debt during the holiday season. Each year these rates have gone up substantially, indicating not only that more people are falling into debt, but debts are becoming harder to pay off. The stigma of debt exists. However, if you’re in this boat, you should not feel ashamed. Millions of people in the United States alone feel like they need help during the holidays.
December and the beginning of the new year are meant to feel hopeful, peaceful, and to be spent with family and loved ones in a time of gratefulness. Not having the money to pay for presents (or even basic necessities) during the holidays can disrupt these feelings. If you are struggling to afford the perfect holiday, there are some things you can do about it.
Here are the top five ways the folks at Midwest Title Loans beat the financial stress of the holidays.
1. Come up with a budget and stick to it.
If budgeting isn’t part of your year-round financial routines, it should be. Budgeting helps you plan for the future without the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. Starting your budget in January of each year saves you year-round stress and allows you to plan for Christmas of that year. That way, if you want to go all-out for Christmas, you’ll be able to cut back in certain areas of your life to be able to afford it.
Are you just reading this in time for the last-minute holiday shopping push? There’s no better time to start budgeting than the present. Find unnecessary costs in your spending history — like memberships and twice-a-day trips to your favorite coffee shop — and cut them out temporarily. You’ll find you have extra spending money and less stress after you do this. And who knows? If you start this year, you could find yourself with substantially more money for spending on gifts next holiday season.
2. Opt for homemade gifts and low-key parties.
Everyone loves a good holiday party, but here’s a reminder: you don’t need to have the best one. Most people average about 15 hours attending holiday parties. And, unless you’re a millionaire, people will probably attend a party that is more extravagant, more food and booze-plentiful, and better musically prepared for. That doesn’t mean to say that you shouldn’t throw a party, but if you’re crunched for money, offering a low-key party or foregoing throwing a party that year can be just what your bank account needs for recovery.
In the same vein, if you’re responsible for a gift for a co-worker or distant relative for one of those parties, consider a low-cost DIY gift. Not only will it be memorable, but it will save you from having to shell out more money for a gift that might not be a hit.
3. If you’re buying for relatives who live in another state, consider online purchases or non-physical gifts.
Have a huge family spread out all over the country? This can wreak havoc on your bank account. Not only do you have to buy presents for them and their families, but you have to work shipping costs into those purchases. This can take $400 budget and move it to a $100 budget depending on how many family members you have, how many packages you have to ship, package weight, and shipping distance.
This is where online shopping can be your friend. Utilizing online merchants for purchases saves you shipping costs, and ensures that your gifts are on-time for the big day. Many online retailers have gift wrapping options. Alternately, you can work with your family when it comes to wrapping your presents for children when they get there. Want to make sure the present is a surprise? Opt for gift cards or local certificates for special, non-physical gifts with low shipping rates.
4. Make a plan and utilize your credit card.
Sometimes, you need to utilize your credit card — and that’s okay. The important part of this process is that you make a plan for your credit card spending before you spend it. Set up a budget based on your interest rate and the amount you believe you’ll be able to pay off comfortably. Then, spend only within this budget. It also helps to evaluate unnecessary costs as you would for non-credit budget. Cutting out the extra spending will make it easier to pay off any excess credit in a reasonable amount of time.
5. Still need more money? Consider a title loan.
Sometimes none of these options work for people during the holidays. Perhaps they don’t have the time and need money to make a last-minute purchase. Traditional loans take quite a bit of time to apply for, up to weeks. Additionally, traditional loans are dependent on your credit history. Credit history is so greatly impacted by different factors that anyone can have a poor or fair credit score even if they make their monthly payments on time.
Title loans take very little time to apply for and are usually ready the same day. They simply require that you own a vehicle and have access to its title. When you bring your title into a title loan establishment, they determine how much your car is worth and let you borrow against that worth. That way regardless of your credit you are still able to get the money you need for the Christmas season.
Midwest Title Loans follows a simple application process that stresses term transparency, customer rights, and long-term benefits. We know that the holidays are financially stressful for a large portion of Americans, which is why we want everyone to know about the benefits of obtaining a title loan through our company. If you live in Kansas City, St. Joseph, or Gladstone Missouri or live near Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas, we want to get in touch with you about your holiday spending. To make an appointment and see how much we can lend you this holiday season, contact us.