. Avoiding Debt during the Holiday Season - Manitoba Parent Zone | Healthy Child Manitoba

Avoiding Debt during the Holiday Season

The holiday season can be an exciting time. Most people enjoy looking for the perfect gifts for their friends and loved ones. Sometimes, though, people also end up spending more during the holidays than they had planned. This can leave them with mounting credit card debt and stress that will last long after the holiday season ends. You can avoid running up those bills by following these tips:

  • Set a budget for your holiday spending and then stick to it.
  • To keep costs reasonable, consider exchanging gifts with fewer people or exchanging handmade gifts or homemade goodies.
  • Save before you shop.
  • Make a list.
  • Pay cash for all purchases.
  • Pay off your credit card balances in full each month.
  • Keep track of what you spend.
  • Shop early.
  • Look for sales and other discounts throughout the year.
  • Look for ways to reduce your travel costs.

If you do go into debt to pay for Christmas, or other holidays, avoid using your credit cards again until the balances are paid off. Figure out a plan to pay off the balances as soon as you can by paying more than just the minimum required payments. Also, consider using your GST rebate cheques and tax refunds to make extra payments to take care of any balances as soon as possible and lower the amount of interest you will pay.

Click on the following links to learn more about avoiding debt during the holiday season:

  • Community Financial Counselling Services
    Information, tools, and resources, including various financial calculators, to help you stay on top of your finances.
  • Avoiding holiday debt (Investor Education Fund):
    8 Tips to help you keep holiday spending on track.
  • How can I control my spending over the holiday season (Investor Education Fund):
    Tips to help you be nice to your budget, and a calculator to help you find out how long it will take you to pay off the holiday debt on your credit card.
  • SEED Winnipeg
    This can be especially hard for people living in low income. SEED Winnipeg's Asset Building Programs help low-income participants to save for productive assets or household necessities. Their programs include money management training classes, matched savings credits that are added to the funds that participants save on their own, opportunities for peer support from fellow participants, and one-to-one support from SEED staff.

If you need help with your finances, Community Financial Counselling Services offers free help. They can be reached at In Winnipeg: (204) 989-1900 or toll free 1-888-573-2383.