There is no time like the present to start planning for next Christmas. After all, you know it will come, so why not start setting aside the money now? Some banks offer Christmas Savings accounts, where you tell the bank to take a fixed amount of money out of every paycheck. You can then withdraw it during the holidays to start buying presents. Or you can use a gift envelope, where you actually put cash in an envelope (ours is actually labeled "Gifts") every week or paycheck. With interest rates as low as they are now, you are not sacrificing much interest if you use the envelope system.
If you set aside just $20 a week, you can have about $1000 saved for next year's presents.
The Holiday Hangover is a common occurrence. If you suffer from it, you need to understand that you are not alone and that you can avoid the trap next year. First, look at simple ways to save money and apply these savings to pay off the credit cards. Then, start saving money from every check to prepare for next Christmas so that you can avoid the problem next year.
Hangovers always hurt; here's hoping you recover from the Holiday Hangover quickly and that you avoid the New Year's hangover. I wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and remind you to be safe.