I have decided to do the majority of my Christmas shopping online this year. In fact, even though I like bargains, I am going to forgoe going to any stores on Black Friday. I might, however, take a peak or two at Amazon’s Black Friday page and see what I can find for my family and friends.
I would like to have all of my shopping wrapped up (pun intended) by the first week of December. Across the board, I think that I will spend a little less this Christmas than in the past. One positive thing to come from the recent economic situation, people are finally learning to tell the difference between needs and wants. Most of the things we buy as Christmas gifts are wants, not needs.
I will confess, Christmas is the one time of year when I like to splurge. I really enjoy buying gifts for my kids and my wife. This year, I am going to be a little more frugal, but I’ll still buy them some fun things.
For the most part, I will take my own advice, and stay away from the mall. I might go once, just to pick out a few things for my wife, but I think it best to stay out of any atmosphere which promotes reckless spending. Even after years of living on a budget, I am still susceptible, like most people, to the occasional impulse purchase. Staying away from the mall, and shopping online, allows me to research products, take my time, and really think before I buy.
Also, when I shop online, I can shop through Upromise and earn cash back for my kids’ college savings. When saving, every penny counts, and since I don’t use credit cards, I look for bonus rewards from wherever I can get them. With Upromise, I just registered my debit card, I shop with it online, and I get cash back.
By the way, for those worried about shopping with a debit card online for security reasons, here’s my setup. I use the debit card associated with my ING Direct Electric Orange checking account, instead of a credit card. The amount in the account is limited, and I regularly check my balance. I’ve been using my debit card online for several years and I have never had a problem, but you might want to contact you financial institution and ask them about how they handle identity theft and debt card fraud.
I love Christmas, but back when I was getting out of debt, I didn’t have a lot of spare cash for buying Christmas presents. I have written down a few ideas for a debt-free Christmas. I hope that these ideas will help you save a bit of money and get out of debt.
I don’t know if I will have time to write much over the next few days, so I wanted to take this opportunity to wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving. Each day, I am amazed by the number of folks who take the time to read my site, leave comments, and connect with me. The last three plus years have been amazing, and I just can’t wait to see what’s around the corner. You guys rock!