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How To Buy Christmas Gifts Without Getting Into Debt



Do you love Christmas and gift-giving? I get it. I love Christmas, too!


When the holiday spirit is in the air, there is a magical tradition that brings us all together: the act of giving. Yet, amidst the festive cheer, the strain of overspending casts a shadow on our celebrations. There is a guilt that if you do not go above and beyond with a gift, somehow, your friends and family will resent you, but deciding to gift above your means leaves you in a dark place with debt while others enjoy an expensive gift.


Fear not! This is the year that you navigate Christmas gifts without succumbing to debt. This will not be the year you make purchases and spend almost a year paying it off!


Join me in this journey as we explore thoughtful, wallet-friendly gifting.


Embrace the spirit of budgeting:


  1. Create a realistic budget: ensure your generosity doesn’t lead to debt that will show up daily as stress until you pay it off.
  2. Make a list and check it twice: who will you give gifts to, and how much can you afford per person? Be very clear about your spending limit.


DIY and personalized gifts:


  1. Handmade gift: explore DIY gift ideas, homemade or personalized, that add a touch of sincerity to your presents.
  2. Digital gift: dive into the world of digital gifts where you can create custom playlists and e-cards or even plan a vacation itinerary. Your family and friends can appreciate thoughtful gifts more than materialistic items.


Gift experiences over materialistic things:


  1. Creating memories: explore the world of experiences such as entries to zoos, museums, gardens, and comedy shows. Creating lasting memories would be so appreciated. You would be surprised by the amount of people who don’t explore their hometown.
  2. Gift your skills: You don’t have to be a professional, but what if your family member has never outsourced home cleaning or a private chef? You can clean their home one weekend or become their chef one night. I bet a busy parent would appreciate that!


Open conversations and group gifting:


  1. Honest conversations: start conversations with family and friends about budget limitations, encouraging mutual understanding and shared responsibility. The idea is to avoid accruing debt for the new year.
  2. Group gifting: consider doing a Secret Santa or white elephant, where you are only responsible for one gift vs one each. You will reduce individual expenses and increase the excitement of surprises.


Plan: Saving and making extra money


  1. Year-round savings: create a Christmas sinking fund. Starting in January, you can start saving $25 weekly, and around October, you will have around $1,000 saved to spend guilt-free on gifts.
  2. Side hustle: use your skills to make more money during the holidays to purchase gifts in cash. Sell things you don’t use around your home on Facebook marketplace. But avoid using your credit card and paying the debt in the new year. The high interest rates make those gifts you bought on sale much more expensive than what you paid.


What it looked like for me:


I love my sisters dearly! Every Christmas, I went above and beyond with gift-giving. By above and beyond, I mean I gave gifts I could not afford. In those years, I was using credit cards to pay, and it took me ten months to pay the Christmas debt off.


Guess what? Christmas time came around again, and I repeated the same patterns for a few years. Those gifts came out to be so expensive! Imagine all the interest I was paying on those credit cards. I needed more money to focus on the other 16 maxed-out credit cards I already had. Do not accrue holiday debt; it is not worth it.


Thankfully, those years are long gone, but I will never repeat that mistake. Instead, I stopped giving gifts three years ago and became more intentional with my time with my sisters throughout the year.


When we work together:


  • I help you create sinking funds for the year to help you spend within your means and guilt-free
  • I help you find money in your budget you did not know you had
  • I help you make more money to achieve your financial goals faster


If this resonates with you, I invite you to work with me! I want to help you be intentional with your money and spend in alignment with your values. It does not mean do not spend. It means stop spending on the things that do not bring you happiness to have more money for the things that do and spend it for the people you love, like around the holidays. Book a sales call.


I cannot wait to be part of your journey!



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Orlenda Cortez

Welcome to my corner on the internet! I’m obsessed with using money as a tool because it led me to pay off $30K in consumer debt in a year and a half, helped me save $20K in nine months to have my dream wedding in Costa Rica and is helping me build the life I never saw my family experience. Now I want to help others do the same!

Orlenda Cortez
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