Column: Avoiding The “Merry Credit Card Debt”

December 16, 2015

[Written by Carla Seely]

Happy Holidays, Season Greetings and Merry Christmas… some of us will also need to say another “Merry Credit Card Debt”!

I love the holiday season, the giving of gifts and participating in a holiday party or two, but like many, the expense at this time of year is always on my mind.

Carla Seely Bermuda Nov 21 2015 TC

Instead of having a bunch of credit card debt to deal with in 2016, look at the expenses associated with the holiday season; think about what you can do without or how you can make do with what you already have. “Cutting down on holiday spending doesn’t have to mean cutting down on holiday cheer”.

Here are some creative ways to plan a great holiday season:

Budget Budget Budget

  • Create a holiday budget. A less expensive holiday season starts with a solid spending plan. Look over your finances and decide how much you can afford.

The Who’s Who

  • Trim down the gift list, make a list of essential people you need to buy for. The rest can get a heartfelt Christmas card.

Set Rules

  • In my family we have set some rules. We buy presents for our parents, nieces and nephews aged 12 or under.

Gift Of Wine

  • When it comes to friends, we go out for a glass of wine as our holiday cheer instead of giving gifts.

Re-Use And Bedazzle

  • Use what you already have, swap decorations with friends, scour yard sales, make something new with your own hands or dress up your decorations with some sequins and glue.

Pot Luck Dinner

  • Throw an affordable holiday dinner. Years ago, when I couldn’t make it home for Christmas dinner I would host an “Orphans Pot Luck Dinner”, it was for all my friends who were on the island for Christmas. I always cut the cost by having people chip in whether it’s the mashed potatoes, a dessert or a bottle of wine. What I discovered was everyone is happy to bring something.

With the holiday season upon us, remember it is about time with family and friends and not about creating credit card debt.

- Carla Seely is the Vice President of Pension and Investments at Freisenbruch-Meyer, if you would like any further details please contact cseely@fmgroup.bm or call 441 297 8686

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Comments (3)

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  1. Auntie Zuzu Bouche says:

    Thanks, Carla – great article and reminder.
    I have a budget that I am sticking too and it really makes you 1) more creative in gift giving and 2) remember what this season is truly about.
    Many thanks to all the local retailers who are having fantastic sales as well!

  2. Many Thanks says:

    This is a great article, showing that managing your personal finances doesn’t have to be complicated. The most important part of a balanced budget is living within your means. You should take care of your family’s needs before buying expensive gifts!

  3. mj says:

    first of all what is this holi-day about?????I never buy anything I am always reminded of Mary Prince, Sally Basset and others who where hung on trees, burnt alive, and the whole slavery that forced us into accepting a “Thing” that no one wants to talk about!! when I remember all those people that were on postcards and sent abroad by Europeans bragging about what they had done! I cannot certainly think of any celebration, My mind is sober…This time of year is when the Grafted in are boasting against the natural branches of the earth..I don’t subscribe to foolishness. jeremiah chapter 10 comes to mind!just to remind us of the hypocrisy!