Holiday Debt Stress

by Brian McIlmoyle on December 10, 2014

The holidays are upon us,  it’s easy for me to tell as I live close to a major shopping mall and one of my offices is next to another major mall. The parking lots are packed every day, police officers are directing traffic in and out of the parking lot. You can see cars creeping around the lot looking for scarce parking spots.

I often wonder about the people rushing around the malls, are they enjoying themselves? Is all the shopping and spending bringing them any happiness?

As a bankruptcy trustee I often see the fallout of overspending over the holidays in the form of a busy appointment schedule in January. Its easy in the busy pre-holiday rush to lose control of your spending. There is always another gift to pick up, another holiday gathering to plan for or to attend. In the rush to get everything done, paying attention to spending can go by the wayside.

Planning ahead can go a long way to making certain that everything gets done and things stay in line with your budget. The best way to keep holiday spending under control is to not do it during the holidays. Buy gifts throughout the year and when the holidays come around all you need to do is wrap them up. Another way to keep holiday spending under control is to set aside a specific fund for gifts and stick to it.

If there are children in your family, it can be harder still to resist the temptation to spend. Christmas can be a special time for children, but I have seen that they get just as excited over one gift as they do over 10, more is not always better.

In my family we have rules regarding gifts, they have to meet 2 criteria. They must be either made by the giver, or able to be eaten. these simple rules have made for some very unique gifts that cost little.

Have a happy holiday!


The holidays can be a stressful time, adding to the stress by spending more than you can afford can make for a very sad new year when the bills come in. Our time is often the greatest gift we can give, time with friends and family is more valuable than any thing that can be purchased.

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