Ten Ways to get out of Christmas Debt

#1: Accept the Debt - Many people get all the bills after the holidays and simply can't deal with it and decide to put their Christmas debt off for a more convenient time. But, do you seriously think there is going to be a time when your Christmas debt is going to seem smaller? Just take a few minutes to look over how much you spent and accept it.

#2: Focus on It - The next step to recover from Christmas debt is to focus on the debt. Instead of buying even more items at the after-the-holiday sales, step back and think about how much you've already spent. Do you really need to add even more debt onto your credit cards?

#3: Add It All Up - Once you've accepted and focused on your Christmas debt, it's time to add it all up. You must realize that the num-bers may be more than you expected. It may even take longer to recover than you might have expected. But, this is a vital step in recovering from Christmas debt.

#4: Ask How Much You Can Afford - Many people panic and make the mistake of trying pay off all their Christmas debt at once. If you want to recover from this situation, you'll ask yourself how much you can afford. Add up all your expenses and then see how much you have left from your paycheck to devote to your Christmas debt.

#5: Break It Down - Once you've added up all the bills, think about how many months you want to spend paying the bills off. Then break down your Christmas debt by month, then by week. That way, you'll have a better understanding of what it will take to recover.

#6: Put Off Unneeded Expenses - The most important thing you can do is to put off unneeded expenses until you are able to recover from your Christmas debt. For example, instead of renting movies every week or eating out 4 days a week, watch movies you already own and cook at home.

#7: Look for Savings - If you're not into looking at sales papers and clipping coupons, you should at least do these two things after the holidays. Every bit of money you save can help you tackle and recover from your Christmas debt.

#8: Contact Credit Card Companies - Another important step is to contact your credit card companies and ask if they can lower your interest rate. De-pending on how long it takes to pay off those bills, this could save you a lot of money.

#9: Pay Off the Highest Interest Cards First - It only makes sense to tackle high interest credit cards first. Instead of paying off a card you only spent $200 on it, with an interest rate of 12%, focus on the card that has an interest rate of 21%. The faster you pay off that card, the less interest you'll have to pay. Debt

#10: Don't Get Overwhelmed - Last, but not least, don't get overwhelmed. Becoming overwhelmed by your Christmas debt can make it even easier to put off paying it. Instead, take one step at a time and you'll quickly recover without feeling the strain.

Source: Associatedcontent.com

Regifting Gains Popularity

Regift: (verb) To give an unwanted gift to someone else; to give as a gift something one previously received as a gift. Webster's New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.6).

Regifting has gained in popularity since comedian Jerry Seinfeld first coined the term a dec-ade ago. According to the Macmillan English Dictionary, the increasing popularity of the word and its recent link to online auctions has made the phenomenon of regifting more ac-ceptable. In fact, more than half of adults recently surveyed by Money Management Interna-tional (MMI) find regifting acceptable. Even the etiquette experts at the Emily Post Institute approve of the practice in some circumstances.

If you are thinking about regifting this holiday season, ask yourself the following:

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REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE! - Gifts

Say "No!" to unwanted bags - when doing your Christmas shopping, take a re-usable shopping bag with you or re-use plastic bags. Don‘t accept bags that you don‘t need this Christmas

Recycle old windows – use as picture or mirror frames!

Create a mosaic with broken tiles and pottery

If somebody gives you a present that you don't really want, rather than throw it away, pass it on to your local hospital, play center, charity shop or school.

You could treat someone to an "experience present" such as theatre tickets, flying lesson or just a trip to the cin-ema - they‘re very personal gifts and don‘t come surrounded by stacks of packaging! Tickets to a sporting event, movie, play, or concert are a real treat! You could even make the voucher out of an old Christmas card.

Shipping a gift? Reuse the foam peanuts from another package, or use unbuttered popcorn for packing.

Not sure what to get someone? How about a gift certificate? That way, you know the gift will be kept.

Make gifts. Everyone appreciates a home-cooked meal or baked goodies.

Make a charitable donation in someone's name.

Think durable! Consider how long an item will last before you make a purchase. Often, a cheaper item will wear out long before its more durable equivalent. Buy gifts that are long lasting, repairable, refillable and easily recy-clable.

Remember to look for items made with recycled content, and when buying gifts, try to avoid items that are ex-cessively packaged.

If you get gifts mailed to you, make sure you aren‘t throwing away the box and plastic packaging. Cardboard can be recycled in many curbside programs or at centers, and plastic peanuts can also be reused by shipping stores.

Reduce wasteful junk mail by calling catalog companies and requesting they remove your name from their mail-ing list. Shop at their online sites instead.

If you get a whole new wardrobe, donate your unwanted clothes to charity shops.

When buying presents look out for those with minimal packaging, or items packed in recycled or recyclable ma-terials (e.g. cardboard).

When you have finished eating all your Christmas chocolates and cookies keep the tins and reuse them as stor-age containers.

If you receive electrical goods this Christmas, don‘t throw your old ones away. Instead recycle them.

Avoid purchasing items which are gimmicky.

REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE! - Cards, Gift Wrap & Tag

Wrap gifts in the funny pages or old posters. Or how about an old Clock or a magazine page with your friend's favorite celebrity?

Get creative and design your own wrapping paper using paper shopping bags: decorate them with paints, crayons, or markers. If you use traditional gift wrapping, always buy recycled-content wrapping paper. If your store doesn't sell recycled-content wrapping paper, ask the manager to order it in the future.

Replace new tissue paper with old lace and fabric, strips of paper shopping bags, or even used gift wrap.

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REDUCE! REUSE! RECYCLE! - Some Basic Holiday Statistics

Did you know…?

The average spending for Christmas gifts in 2007 was $859 per person and yet…

87% of Americans believe holidays should be more about family and caring for others, not giving and receiving gifts.

79% of the population believe it's not necessary to spend a lot of money in order to have a fulfilling and enjoyable holiday.

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