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Tis the Season to be Debt-Free?!

December 2nd, 2013

debt free holiday 3As the official beginning to the Christmas holiday shopping has begun, I recently asked our staff to share their ideas for giving gifts that won’t leave you with a new year that is heavy with debt. 

Here is our conversation:  “Retail companies do a fabulous job of convincing us we need to buy, buy, buy which usually means charge, charge, charge.  Let’s have a Happy January and not go into debt!  

Black Friday deals can be great but the interest on the credit card can put the amount you actually pay for that flat screen TV over what the full retail price would have been so…

I want your ideas of ways to give without going into deep debt.  I will compile them and we will post a blog to share with others who follow us. 

 My start off ideas are:

debt free holiday 1 A hand written note of appreciation. Giving your time to help with a project around your loved ones house.  Now share your ideas! ” – Amy  

“I love to make things for people. (Bake, cook, knit a scarf, crafty nit-knack things, etc.)”  – Mary

“I love homemade anything…plus I love to cook/bake: cookies, cakes, if you know what the person likes to eat premade meals for the freezer, a coupon book- (cut the grass, vacuum, babysit etc…)” – Cissy

“Scan in old pictures and do a family slide-show” – Sean

“Frame a photo of you and a loved one and write a letter/story about one of your favorite memories with them (if the photo is of that memory, even better)” – Sean

“Focus on the memory rather than the gift.  Gift card for movie night at your house.  Gift wrap Invite to Board Game, Pictionary, Wii night at your house.” – Valerie

“Last year we took our oldest granddaughter to a homeless shelter to help prepare a Christmas Day meal.  She cannot remember what gifts we got her last year.  But she has asked if we can go back to the shelter on Christmas Day.” – Valerie

“Making homemade scrubs, bath salts has always been a fun one for me. I made all the girls in my family scarves last year.”  – KrisTina

“Donate your time to a homeless shelter, take a meal to a family in need, give the gift of your presence, no cell phones, no TV, just be present.   My neighbors have an annual Cookie Bake-off. Everyone brings dough of their favorite cookie and we enjoy each other’s company while we bake and enjoy coffee, hot cocoa or adult beverages. You could do this with your extended family as well.” – Angie  

“I’m taking a set of old mugs I never got around to using and taking sharpie markers (that I have laying around the house) and making mugs for my friends! Draw what you want to be on the mug and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes, voila!”- Ashley

“I make candy and give as presents.” – Stephanie

“I completely agree on doing something for someone else.  My grandfather had some storm damage tree limbs etc.  I will be going and cleaning then baking something!!” – Cassandra

  “I always enjoy making ornaments or some type of homemade gifts!” – Katrina

“One way to give without going into debt is to have a hall/ward assigned to you at the nursing home and sing Christmas songs and pass out gifts of necessity.  Tooth paste / brushes etc. Inexpensive and the elderly love it.  For some of them, it is the only visit they get.” – Adrian

“You could give creative coupons for things that you will do for people such as “one coupon good for a night out without the Kids”  or  “one full meal cooked at your home or mine by me,” etc. These are great cause you can customize them and even put expiration dates on them!  LOL!

Also…picture projects can make great gifts as well. Shutterfly is an awesome and fast website to use for picture gifts. Or, take an old photo to the 1-hour photo and edit and enhance it there (very cheap) and pick up a frame at the dollar tree or on clearance somewhere and wha-la, you have framed a memory and made the perfect gift without going broke” – Laura

…Finally, remember that Christmas giving isn’t about spending the most amount of money (even on your kids), it is a time to focus on just simply saying I love you or I appreciate that you are a part of my life.  It may take just a little more time to do a homemade gift, but then again, that is what makes it special. 

We hope you have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous, debt free New Year!

 Amy Sanderson and the People Plus Staff!        

 

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