Living with credit

Emily’s list: Holiday countdown edition

Emily Crone

While Christmas and Hannukah are obviously religious holidays, many nonreligious people such as myself still celebrate the annual gift-giving ritual. Whether it be white elephant gift exchanges with friends, presents for your favorite clients or coworkers, or spoiling your loved ones with something they have coveted all year, it’s the season for giving.

Hannukah was very early this month and has already passed, but if you are celebrating Christmas, I hope your shopping is well under way — Christmas Eve is one week from today! holiday-thrifty.jpg
Luckily, you have some great last-minute options, like gift cards that can be
printed out or delivered via e-mail or homemade crafts (there are some great suggestions in the posts featured below).

Each year, many of us go into credit card debt in order to buy hundreds of
dollars of gifts (if not more) for our friends, family and loved ones each holiday season. If we would only
start saving for the next Hannukah or Christmas as soon as this one is over, we
could avoid this problem, but it’s so hard to rationalize saving for them again when the winter season isn’t even over yet. This New Year’s, I think I’m going to resolve to start shoveling away a tiny amount of cash each month for the next holidays so that I’ll be totally prepared when they arrive. Would you do the same?

Please read on for my roundup of some of the best personal finance blog posts from the past week, including several with great ideas for holiday gifts.

1.  Being Frugal explains why sometimes giving a meaningful gag gift that creates a great memory can be far more special than a big, expensive gift.

2.  20something Finance offers a list of seven money-saving Christmas gift ideas that keep on giving.

3.  Is your New Year’s resolution to get your finances in shape? My Journey to Millions explains how you can tackle your debt in 2011.

4.  GenWealth lists 20 financial milestones you should try to achieve while you’re in your 20s, including getting rid of your debt.

5.  My Next Buck provides some examples of how long it would take to pay off your credit card debt with a second job.

6.  Dinks Finance questions whether you could live without a credit card and discusses how credit (or lack of it) is handled in France.

7.  Not Made of Money discusses the many different ways you can spend your Christmas bonus, including using it to pay down debt.

8.  Good Financial Cents explains how unpaid medical bills can affect your credit score and -how it differs from other types of debt.

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  • Kris

    Awesome compilation of resources! I can admit I have been slightly guilty in the past by going the credit route when buying Christmas gifts. But now with a full-time job I had no excuse to not save money before hand and pay with dolla dolla bills yo!
    As a guy I have to admit it is a lot easier to just spend the money and buy something from a store. On the flip side, as some of these articles point out (the truth), personally creating something with meaning definitely brings more holiday bliss (trust me, I tried it for a birthday present).
    Hope all is well Emily, Happy Holidays!

  • Mike

    Credit card debt is the single worst debt to ever be in. The average credit debt in America is totally out of control. Most people just don’t realize that just $5,000.00 in credit card debt can take 15 years or more to pay off. As a society, we must once again go back to saving for something we want as opposed to the ‘got to have it right now” spending.