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Christmas tips that support eliminating your debts

As the holidays rapidly approach, many Ohio families are looking for ways to reduce their debt and gain a more solid financial foundation in the year to come. One way to gain control over finances and take steps toward eliminating your debts is to revamp holiday spending. The following tips are offered to those who want to take a fresh approach to the holiday season.

One great way to reduce costs during the holidays is to simply refocus on the "reason for the season." Spending time with loved ones is the most important aspect of the holidays and is also usually a very cost-effective proposition. It is also important to reflect on those things for which the family is grateful, which can help keep the focus on the true center of holiday celebrations.

Families should also implement solid budgeting skills during this time of year. A good budget begins with an honest assessment of the amount of money that can be designated for gifts, decorations and other holiday expenses. Next, family members should make a list of individuals who will receive gifts and then follow with a review of that list and a willingness to cut costs where needed. This might mean fewer gifts for some loved ones or replacing purchased items with homemade gifts.

Finally, many people can save money by "re-gifting" items that they have received but for which they do not have a use. Some families are great at finding the best deals on various gifts. Still others have a knack for finding thoughtful and creative gifts that are cost-effective.

For some Ohio families, no degree of careful planning or judicious holiday sending will be enough to stave off serious financial trouble. In such cases, the New Year may bring some sobering financial decisions, up to and including the need to seek bankruptcy protection in the interest of eliminating your debts. Once the lights have come down and the last glass of eggnog has been drained, it might be time to sit down and make a thorough review of family finances.

Source: Fox News, "Twelve Days of Christmas prep: How to have a happy and debt-free holiday", Chuck Bentley, Dec. 11, 2015

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