As the holidays approach, many in California are finishing their decorating, planning their holiday menus and shopping for gifts for friends and family. For those who have had financial difficulties in the past few years, this Christmas may be very different from those in years past. In many cases, the need for debt relief has placed a limit on discretionary spending, and holiday budgeting has to accommodate that fact.

When facing a reduced holiday budget, it is important to remember that while the season has become increasingly focused on expensive decorations, gifts and celebrations, the true spirit of Christmas is not about these things. Spending time with friends and family should be the focal point of the season, as well as incorporating any faith-based practices that are important to one’s family. In many ways, having to reduce spending can help families refocus on the true nature of the season.

There are, however, expenses that are necessary as the holidays approach. Consumers can exert a great deal of control over their spending habits by simply creating a budget and adhering to the limits set out within. Having a list of people to purchase gifts for and an idea of what type of gifts you would like to buy can also help reduce impulse spending.

For those in California who are in serious need of debt relief, it may be worthwhile to consider options to alter one’s financial standing. Once an individual’s debt has far surpassed their ability to repay those obligations, it may be time to consider an alternative solution. Filing for personal bankruptcy can lead to fast and comprehensive debt relief through the discharge of many forms of consumer debt.

Source: mynews4.com, Financial expert says plan ahead to avoid post-holiday debt, Ashley Cullins, Nov. 27, 2013