Living with credit

Emily’s list: Happy holidays edition

Emily Crone

Hanukkah is well under way, and Christmas Eve is tomorrow. While some of you might still be out there scrambling to find last-minute gifts, the chaos that is holiday shopping is almost over.

The holidays should be about more than spending, Emily says

For the last few months, Americans have been obsessing over Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Free Shipping Day, sales, gift cards and everything else related to holiday shopping. The stores have been packed, and I’ve heard that the USPS is backed up and shipments may be late. Don’t get me wrong — I’m always excited to receive presents, and I can’t wait to give my family the gifts I’ve picked out for them.

But I’m thrilled that the crazy shopping part of the holidays is nearly done. I’m so over the intense consumerism aspect of the holidays and very ready to just enjoy what it’s all about: delicious food and great company (and for some, religion). I hate that so much of the winter holidays are based on spending money, as it throws many people into debt and a strange frenzy. So if you are the type of person who gets carried away, I encourage you to relax, put away the credit card and enjoy the treasured time with your loved ones.

I am also excited to share that this year, unlike most years, I will leave December with no holiday credit card debt. I followed my own advice and started saving early and spending wisely. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be!

My gift to you: this roundup of nine amazing personal finance blog posts from the past week!

1. Len Penzo explains the pros and cons of freezing your credit report.

2. Prairie Ecothrifter lists three tips you need if you plan to start living a frugal lifestyle.

3. Many of us aspire to be “rich,” but do we really even know what
that means? Krant Cents shares the findings from a study that defines
what rich is

4. When you graduate college and start your first job, it can be
overwhelming trying to figure out how to manage your money. Humble
provides advice on how to save as you get started.

5. Wisebread questions the difference between being frugal and being cheap, and where the line should be drawn.

6. Wealth Pilgrim reveals five tips you can use to retire without debt.

7. A Thrifty Mrs. shares tips for repurposing Christmas decorations, wrapping paper, and cards instead of throwing them away.

8. Money Talks discusses why it’s so important to have a group of
supportive people
in your life, especially with those who share a financially responsible

9. Squirrelers questions whether gift cards are a good idea for presents, especially with close loved ones.

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