With nearly one in 10 Americans currently unemployed, millions of people have seen their household incomes drop this year.
A full 34% of Americans said they plan to spend nothing on holiday purchases, because they expect further financial distress, according to a November poll by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
We love the holidays here at DailyWorth, and we support celebrating them in a style you can afford. But if you don't have the cash consider some alternatives.
Postpone. There's no law that says gifts have to be exchanged NOW. Plan for festivities later in the winter, when everything is 70% off—and/or your own situation has improved. Explain. You hate to disappoint your nearest and dearest (especially the kids). But most people (even kids) will understand that times are tight. It's not forever. Swallow. Dana, a reader in New York, told us that her husband is getting laid off early in January, and they've had to tell several friends that the usual gift exchange is off until he's re-employed. "I though I'd feel like a Grinch, but our friends totally understood." Be joyful. There's so much to savor this time of year—from a slower work schedule to snowy sports to holiday lights and treats and parties. By keeping spending in line with financial reality, you gain the space to enjoy more than what money can buy.
Cash out. The "spend, spend, spend" holiday mantra can make you crazy—and broke. How do you cope?