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fairwinds.org | Get the freedom to go further.

Feeling Santa Shock from the credit card bills starting to come in? If you’re looking back at the holidays with dread because you spent too much, you’re not alone. Tackle last year's expenses and start saving with the suggestions below:

Pay off credit card debt.

Use our debt snowball calculator to help you create a plan and see how quickly you can gain momentum to pay off all of your debts once and for all.

Start saving for next Christmas.

Take that amount you spent last year and divide it by 12. That’s how much you need to put away each month for next Christmas so you’re not feeling the Santa Shock again next year. You can also re-assess and consider reducing your shopping list, helping you save more.

Buy gifts on sale.

Using the money you’re saving, buy some of the gifts throughout the year when they’re on sale. Use BOGO offers to get two gifts for the price of one.

Gift cards are a typical holiday gift, but many go unused.

Put all of your gift cards in your wallet and spend them creatively. Maybe you don’t care for coffee on the go, but you can buy a package of ground coffee beans at the coffee store and use it at home. Use that digital gift card to rent a movie at home instead of going out. Whatever it might be, use these gift cards and appreciate them for what they are — money in your wallet.

Some items gifted to you may not be your "style."

Fear not, they can be saved and re-gifted! Use these unexpected goods as birthday gifts or holiday treats for those who may appreciate them more – scented candles, home décor, bath products, etc. Even if you don’t personally have use for it, you may be able to find someone else who does.