Are you one of those people who goes into debt over Christmas presents?

@sharone74 (4839)
United States
November 1, 2007 3:35pm CST
I know a great many people who put their Christmas shopping and other December extravagances on their credit cards and they end up paying for Christmas thru July. You would think that these people would learn something from this. Do not spend money that you do not have to spend! With the economy not well right now going into debt for anything unneccessary is ridiculous. It defies credibility that the people that you love would want to know that they have put you in debt just to get them the newest or the hottest or the coolest thing. If nothing else give each of the people that you mail gifts to, gift cards or better yet mail them each $10 or $20, it is definitely cheaper and there is no need to wait in those huge lines at the post office for mailing letters or cards. Don't you think this is a better idea?
6 people like this
15 responses
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
1 Nov 07
Not me. I'd rather give a simple gift or not give anything at all rather than to bury myself in debt just to give an expensive gift. Because if you ruin your finances, then you won't be able to help the people you love at the time when they really need your help.
2 people like this
• United States
1 Nov 07
That's a great point, wisedragon! I would much rather be able to help someone when they most need it than to give a gift out of obligation.
@overhere (516)
• United States
1 Nov 07
I couldn't agree with you more that going into debt over Christmas is crazy. I do use credit cards for Christmas shopping but only for ease and not carrying cash which tends to disappear. - they all get paid in full when statement arrives. We set a budget for each present and that is immutable. It actually I think makes it more fun finding something within a set budget than spending freely. Happy shopping.
1 person likes this
@sharone74 (4839)
• United States
2 Nov 07
I can certainly take longer. I usually spend all of the cash that I have on Christmas presents but normally I do my Christmas shopping in July and August and then put them away. Normally by September I am all but done and can sit back and laugh at everyone else while they go crazy in the stores.
@blueunicorn (2409)
• United States
1 Nov 07
My husband and I don't own credit cards, so fortunately we don't have that option for Christmas. Our attitude about it is the same for the rest of the year- if we don't have the cash for something then we don't need it. This year we are making an effort to reduce the total spending for the holiday. We are only purchasing our kids gifts. Every year we get frustrated trying to find the adults "just the right thing" when they have money to blow. It doesn't make sense. Even with the kids we are cutting back this year.
@sharone74 (4839)
• United States
2 Nov 07
Money is tight right now for everyone. with the cost of everything rising and wages not rising to meet them everyone is starting to feel a distinct pinch in their pocketbooks.
1 person likes this
@beyonce03 (2331)
• Canada
3 Nov 07
I always have a budget for Christmas and I always start to save money in august-september. This year I couldnt do that because I had a lot of things to pay with the new house and the baby coming. But I started to save some in October and I just have a smaller budget for everyone this year, but it's ok. I don't think that a giftcard is ok for everyone. For example I know my boyfriend wants to buy some new electronic. I will not give him a gift card to help him because he never buys thing at the same place and it,s the same thing for most of my family. But in some case it,s good. last year i receive a gift certificate for my favorite restaurant and I thought it was a very good idea :)
@wiccania (3360)
• United States
3 Nov 07
I try to stay within a set budget for Christmas and not go into debt. Sometimes I end up going into debt, but not often. I take a page out of my older sister's book and set a limit for each person on my list. She always does $20 per person or $30 per couple except for our parents and her husbands parents, for them it's $50. Depending on what her financial situation is, she'll keep buying until she spends the full amount or she'll find the perfect gift within the budget and stick with that.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
2 Nov 07
I like it when I receive a gift card to my favorite electronic/computer store or to Walmart. They are non=expirable and I can put together them for a big purchase. I know what it is like to want things that you cannot afford and expect others to get them for Christmas. Also to get something from my husband and know that we will have to watch our budget a bit more. I have two birthdays coming up in November plus the Christmases. I do not want to be cheap, and I have an automatic monthly deductible on my credit card, a book to pay for, and I do not want us to go into debt, but I wonder if there is a compromise.
@limcyjain (3523)
• India
2 Nov 07
No i never overspend than my earnings. Whether it is giving gifts to my relatives and friends or even spending on myself i strictly remain with in my means. I would never want to fall in a debt trap which bankers have laid giving out credit cards. Infact this the costiest means of financing a purchase. I do have a debit card which allows me to buy only up the limit of money i have so no chance of falling in to a debt trap.
@bowtieguy (5927)
• United States
2 Nov 07
I have never been close to debt but I do tend to over spend around christmas time, I like to do some of my shopping around halloween and then finish it off around thanksgiving that way I am not spending so much money all at once, I also avoid all of the crowds this way.
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
2 Nov 07
We budget for Christmas presents. We budget my husband's entire paycheck, since he gets paid the same every month. That's how we pay bills and expenses. I'm a freelance writer, so my pay varies from month to month. We put a portion of my earnings in savings, and a portion back for Christmas. We also save back all the giftcards I get from various sites that I am a member of. Then that is what we spend on Christmas. Whether it's $300, $500, $1000. It doesn't matter how much it is, that's all we can spend. If there is left over money, we use it to buy decorations, or save it for the rush of birthdays that come in the spring.
@ctrymuziklvr (11059)
• United States
2 Nov 07
Debit cards work better. - credit cards
Never in my life have I gone into debt at Christmas time. It's something that I could never understand people doing! I have a couple of debit cards that I use for almost everything and when the money is gone (and there are no interest charges either) then I'm done shopping until I can refill them. Most of the money comes from my online earnings.
@lexus54 (3576)
• Singapore
2 Nov 07
Thoughtful gifts don't always have to be expensive ones. On the other hand, expensive gifts are not necessarily thoughtful ones. If the receiver doesn't appreciate it, then precious money is wasted buying it. Trying to fulfill everyone's wishlist for Christmas gifts can burn a hole in one's pocket. My wife has this philosophy about Christmas gifts, and that is if someone (a nephew or niece) desires some latest gadget, game machine or whatever the craze in town, and it costs a bundle that is way out of our gift budget, then we won't buy such a gift. Instead we will source for a gift that we know the person can do with that will be useful or entertaining. As givers, we also need to exercise some financial prudence. If there is money management issues in spending for Christmas gifts, one way is to consciously budget for it at the beginning of the year based on what you can afford, set aside the money somewhere, and try to keep within this budget when Christmas comes around. Then you won't run into unnecessary credit card debt spending on money you don't have.
@rakxx7 (13)
• India
2 Nov 07
I agree to your writings as it is conmmon everywhere be it Christmas or any other festival, people enter into debts just to satisfy their lavish desires. People regret for spending so lavishly without considering the ruining economy only during their struggle to pay out their debts and forgets all about it when it's over. Again when the next christmas arrives they ejoy the same lavish shopping. I think people for whose shake you have entered into debts should aknowledge this and warn you not to surpass yourself. Whatever form the gift maybe material or cash one should give whithin the capacity of oneself--there is no difference in the value of the gift provided it is gifted with love and concern.
• Romania
2 Nov 07
No i am not one that goes into debt,why should we do that....i know i better to give than receive but than to pay half of year.....i just like to do something with the money i have.
@izathewzia (5142)
• Philippines
2 Nov 07
I don't shop for Christmas if i have no extra money for it. I'd rather spend what I have only than borrowing from credit cards. I already had a bad experience on credit cards. It was a nightmare! And i don't wanna happen it again. Nor borrowing money by other means except it is an emergency cases.
@roniroxas (10576)
• Philippines
1 Nov 07
oh goodness i wouldnt allow that to happen. i have four kids and that is important form. if we go to debt just because of christmas presnets then that is not a good way to embrace the new year. i always go for sale and start buying presents for christmas as early as october. i would rather start that early than to have christmas debt.