The holidays may seem like the worst time to look into credit consultation, but with the season also come some new opportunities. Holiday bankruptcy in Montgomery County, TX is more common than realized, and it does not have to be the end of your celebrations. If you find yourself in this position this year, here are five tips for maintaining a meaningful holiday season:
- Consider crafts: Rather than spend your entire paycheck at the mall, create handmade gifts. If you love cooking, sewing or any other type of craft, making useful items like frozen meals for a week or a set of kitchen towels will go over well. Also, if you have skills like hairdressing or home repairs, consider giving coupons for those services. An exhausted parent would likely prefer one hour of babysitting over more stuff. Think about people’s needs and see if you can give time or effort, rather than physical objects.
- Set a budget: Holidays are truly about the memories, not the stuff. Set a budget before you start to spend, and see where you can cut corners. If you already have one million decorations, you likely do not need to buy more. Also, when it comes to gifts, know that you do not have to spend lots of money to be thoughtful. Gift cards assure you do not spend more than you have, and also allow people to get what they need. Amazon has fancy electronics and toys, but also skin care products, toilet paper and other household necessities.
- Use the four-gift rule: Your children are likely receiving gifts from several people. They will not be neglected if you decide to adopt the “four-gift rule.” Basically, parents pledge to give children four gifts: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. This often helps avoid the expense associated with buying multiple “hot” toys, and also helps children view gift-giving differently.
- Be accountable: Holiday gift giving is not a surprise or an emergency. Like back-to-school, Halloween candy and costumes and food for Thanksgiving, you can plan for this time of year. Do not overextend yourself. If you feel pressured to give gifts to coworkers, just bring them doughnuts one morning. Many people like a bit of sugar in the morning, and they will be gracious. Adopt the four-gift rule for your children and maybe agree with other adults to share experiences, not gifts. A dinner out after the holidays is often less expensive than buying gifts.
- Know your restrictions: If you filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are already subject to limitations. You cannot take on new debt without permission from the court, and even then, it will likely only be granted if it is for something essential, like a new refrigerator or emergency plumbing repairs. Lowering your payment plan may be possible, but you will stretch out your plan and likely make up any cost savings in attorney fees. Your best bet is to stay within your budget.
Simpler holidays are not lower-quality ones. James R. Jones, Attorney at Law understands the difficulties surrounding holiday bankruptcy. To schedule a credit consultation in Montgomery County, TX, or for information about our other bankruptcy services, contact us today.