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Interest rates in Canada are climbing so if you’re on the verge of going into debt over holiday spending this year, you might want to reconsider.

To get through the holiday season with as little financial pain as possible, here a few tips to keep from overspending (which can be hard!):

Make a budget: Figure out how much you can afford to spend over the season and then work from there. For example, if you can afford $200, then make a list of what you think you need to buy and work backwards. And don’t be afraid to cut – whether it’s trimming the decorations, making your own cookies, or opting for a thoughtful card instead of a gift for someone.

Do go out with your list: Shopping centres and malls are packed at this time of year and it’s easy to get distracted and over spend. The best way to avoid this is to have a clear list of who you need to shop for and what you plan to buy for them.

Use cash: Paying for everything with cash or using your Interac Debit card makes it much easier to track your spending. Carrying a few bills along with you can ensure you stick to the essentials and avoid impulse purchases.

Have honest conversations: Avoid awkward moments by setting a price limit ahead of time for gifts among friends and family. This way no one is caught off guard by pricey or less fancy gifts. You might also find that you’d prefer to skip the gift giving altogether and opt for a night out or another kind of treat you can share.

Try a Secret Santa with your family: This is a fun way to set gift giving limits among family. Give everyone a budget of no more than $30 and one person to buy for. That way everyone gets a gift and no one has to break the bank.

We wish all our members the best for the holiday season. 

(reprinted from the cutrust newsletter)

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