Be money-smart about your holiday gift-giving

On behalf of The Rollins Law Firm posted in Chapter 7 on Monday, November 9, 2015.

For many people, one of the things near the top of their holiday season to-do list is buying presents for their family, friends and significant other.

Sometimes, people end up spending quite a bit in the effort to find the right gifts for their loved ones. For example, in a recent survey of U.S. consumers, the average amount respondents indicated they intend to spend this holiday season for gifts for their significant other is $338.

While giving holiday gifts to loved ones can be a wonderful thing, it can also be quite important to be financially responsible when it comes to one's gift-giving. It is important for individuals to not lose track of how much they are spending in relation to their holiday gift-giving and how well this spending fits within their means. Spending beyond one's means for holiday gifts could have financial effects that last quite a long time.

One such class of effects are debt-related effects. Sometimes, individuals turn to debt to help fund holiday gift purchases. In fact, the above-mentioned survey of U.S. consumers indicates this is relatively common. Of all the survey respondents, around one-third said that, at some point in the past, they had used credit card debt for paying for gifts for loved ones.

What effects taking on credit card debt for holiday gift-giving has on a person depends on a variety of circumstances, including how much debt they take out and what their current financial situation is. In some circumstances, a person could find themselves with a credit card debt load that lasts long after the holiday season is over, perhaps even affecting their financial situation for future holiday seasons.

In your opinion, what are some of the best ways for keeping holiday gift spending and debt down without compromising the quality of gifts given to loved ones?

When a person has incurred more credit card debt than they are able to manage, bankruptcy might be able to help. For example, depending on the circumstances, a person may be able to get their credit card debt discharged through a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Bankruptcy lawyers can provide individuals with high credit card debt with advice regarding whether bankruptcy could be an appropriate step for them to take.

Source: Business Insider, "Americans are willing to go into credit card debt to buy holiday gifts for their loved ones," Jonathan Garber, Nov. 5, 2015

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