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Michigan Bankruptcy Blog

Christmas and Bankruptcy

Posted by Peter Behrmann, Esq. On December 6th

Christmas is a very exciting time for most people, filled with family, friends, holiday parties, and let’s not forgets financial stress. Financial stresses from the holiday can literary destroy some people, completely undermining the entire point of the holiday season. Many People spend more money than they anticipated or can afford on Christmas. It also can leave people with credit card bills that they will be unable to pay. There are many ways to avoid or minimize the effects of Christmas spending. Many of the tips below will help to avoid the overspending that many people deal with.

Budget – And Keep to it!

The first rule is to find out what you can afford.  Once you make your budget, keep to it. People often get in over their head when they do not have a proper budget and spend more than they can afford.  Just because it’s a good deal or you think that someone would love a gift idea, if it is not in the budget pass on the opportunity.  

Make Gifts or Baked Goods!

One of the best gifts I receive each year at my family’s Christmas is homemade candy.  This was a tradition started by my Grandmother and now carried on by my Aunt.  Another family member always brings a plate of assorted cookies for everyone.  If baking is not your think maybe making Christmas decorations or ornaments is more your style.  You don’t have to go out and buy everyone a gift if you can make the gift at home.

Divide the Family Up!

I grew up in a large family that would often have 20 to 30 people at Christmas.  We would put everyone names into a hat and each draw one person to shop for with a reasonable limit everyone could afford.  This way everyone had a gift to open and everyone did not have to buy a gift for everyone. 

Don’t Use Credit Cards!

The easiest way to spend more money then you have is to use a credit card.  It’s too easy to go over your budget or spend money you do not have by using a credit card.  On that same note, pass on the store credit card offers you will most likely get while shopping, for example, saving an extra 15% today by opening that Kohl’s card will end up costing you more money down the road if you cannot afford to pay the bill. 

Do not forget the point of the Holidays!

The point of Christmas is not to go into debt and have to file bankruptcy.  I know it seems weird that a Bankruptcy Attorney is telling you that he does not want you to have to file bankruptcy but it’s true.  The point of holiday season is to spend time with friends and family, catch up on the year, and enjoy each other’s company.  If financially you can afford to spend money on gifts, by all means spend what you can afford but remember the point of the holidays is not about spending money, it’s about spending time with those you care about. 

Peter Behrmann is a Livonia Bankruptcy Attorney.  From my Livonia, Michigan location, I represent clients throughout Metro Detroit and beyond, including Garden City, Wayne, Westland, Redford, Dearborn, Taylor, Ann Arbor, Belleville, Northville, Novi, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Plymouth, Canton, and the Counties of Wayne, Oakland, Livingston, and Washtenaw. My practice is limited to helping consumers like you file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and Foreclosure Prevention.



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