How Not to Go Broke over the Holidays

how not to go brokeToday’s post gives you some tips on how not to go broke this holiday season.   These tips on how not to go broke however are great for more than just curbing your spending during the holidays.  They can be used any time of the year!

The video above features one very important key of how not to go broke this holiday season. It highlights the case of Sarah Downey, a woman who while married to a multi-millionaire became a shopaholic.  Because habits are often hard to break, Downey carried over these habits after going through a divorce.  While her income and net worth left her a pauper, who spending habits continued.  How bad did it get?  Sarah often found herself in dumpsters – literally – behind thrift stores fishing for bargains.

Sarah finally found help for her shopping addiction by finding a counselor who specialized in this addiction.  And, as Sarah noted it definitely was an addiction.

What Sarah’s plight demonstrates is that one key on how not to go broke this holiday season is to make sure you have a handle on any shopaholic or excessive shopping tendencies you may have.  If you do have a problem then get help now.  Holiday spending is often bad enough without factoring in a tendency to overspend!  Usually there are many free local agencies that can refer you to someone who will help .

More Tips on How Not to Go Broke over the Holidays

1. Tear up your credit cards if you can’t control your credit card spending.  Actually, it’s probably better to keep at least one credit card that you can use for emergencies.  If you are one of those folks however that just can’t keep from using the card and consider it “free” money” you might want to put it in a safe deposit box or leave it with a relative you trust.  You could even put it in a plastic bag and then freeze it in a tupperware with water!

2. Make a homemade gift for your loved ones.  There are many low cost and no cost ways to create heartfelt gifts or presents for those you love. And the amazing thing is that these are often treasured long after the more expensive gifts have been discarded.  If you are handy at crafts or woodworking you could knit or craft or create something personal for the particular individual.  If you have skills or expertise in any area you could use those skills to either create something or offer a free hour or two of your labor as a gift.  For instance, if you are a painter of art you could paint a neat personalized work of art.  If you are a painter of houses you could offer to paint a room or the like.

Essentially, there are hundreds of ideas you can come up with to create personalized inexpensive gifts for all your loved ones.

3. Use Craigslist to find inexpensive or free items.  Craigslist has a free section in which folks are just giving away things. Lots of junk but also a lot of items with value.  As they say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.  A matter of fact we recently featured a story here on Buks about a teenage girl on the road to a million who found free stuff on Craigslist that she turned around and sold.  She has used that money to now purchase two houses!

Anyway, Craigslist has a ton of items that people are giving away or selling at very reasonable prices.  If it is furniture you may just need to refinish it, etc.  See what is out there and what you can do to get a hold of inexpensive items that you can use as gifts.

4.  You might want to set a spending cap on gifts this holiday season.  Because of the excess expense and hardship that too much spending can cause after the holidays are over many families are setting spending caps on the gift.  For instance, everyone agrees not to spend over $25 – or whatever figure you all agree on.

5.  Use eBay or Craigslist or your local paper to sell items that you don’t want or use anymore.  Instead of letting old unused items take up space why not get some money out of them?  Sell them on eBay or Craigslist for a quick profit.  That could generate you some extra money for this holiday season.  On that same note I know many folks who spend money every month on storage units that hold old furniture and worthless items.  If you are spending $50 or $75 or more every month on a storage unit you are essentially devaluing everything in that unit every month!  Keep your valuable items close and sell the rest of the junk!

One benefit of selling some of your unused stuff is that you will also be decluttering your place.  The more clutter you get rid of physically the clearer your mind will be as well – and the fatter your wallet or purse!

6.  Work some extra hours for some extra bucks.  Many businesses ramp up the hours during the holidays so this might happen for you automatically.  On the other hand, because many businesses hire extra workers for the holiday season you might want to pick up an extra job just for the holiday season.  Although you may be working extra hours it is often easier as you know it is just for the season. And, if you enjoy the extra money many of these businesses will actually keep the best workers on past the holidays.

7.  Use coupons to save money on everything you buy.  This is great advice for the holiday season and beyond.  If you’ve ever seen the show Extreme Couponing you know just how much can be saved.  The fact that some of those folks are saving over 90% on their grocery bills is amazing.  You don’t have to spend all your time searching for coupons.  Just using those in your regular ad circular as well as some of the more popular coupon sites online should help you save some decent money.  Free money is free money after all!

Some of the best coupon sites include,,,, and  Just remember to only print out the coupons you are sure you are going to use because printer ink can start to get expensive.  Of course, you’ll want to use refillable ink lol…

Utilizing one or more of these tips on how not to go broke should help you not only for this holiday season but for your entire life!

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