The Holiday Spending Trap: Debt Relief & Bankruptcy

By Published On: April 10, 2023Categories: Blog, Bankruptcy

The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but they can also be a source of stress and financial strain for many individuals. People spend more money on gifts, decorations, or travel expenses during this time. While holiday spending can bring happiness to oneself and loved ones, overspending can result in accumulating an overwhelming amount of debt.

This article discusses the common spending mistakes made during the holiday season, our favorite budgeting techniques to help maintain financial stability, and how the option of bankruptcy can help bring financial relief to those with overwhelming debt. Enjoy the holiday season without financial worries and learn more about the resources available to you that will help you navigate holiday spending.

Common Mistakes In Holiday Spending

Who doesn’t want to buy the best gifts for their loved ones? Sometimes pressures are placed on us, and it can be hard to find a way to budget out our gifts for the ones we love. To avoid being put into a difficult financial situation, it’s essential to recognize and avoid the common financial mistakes associated with holiday spending.

Not Creating A Budget

One of the most significant mistakes people make during the holidays is not creating a budget. Without a budget, it’s easy to overspend on gifts or holiday decorations. People may feel pressured to spend more money to create the perfect holiday experience, which can quickly lead to debt. A budget allows individuals to set spending limits, prioritize expenses, and avoid overspending.

Racking Up Credit Card Debt

Another common mistake during the holidays is using credit cards without proper planning. People may use credit cards to pay for gifts, travel, and other expenses, only to find themselves accumulating high balances. Credit card interest rates and fees can quickly add up, causing even more financial strain. To avoid this situation, it is essential to use credit cards wisely and create a clear plan to pay off any balances.

Overspending On Non-essentials

Many people fall into the trap of overspending on gifts, decorations, and travel during the holidays. People may feel pressured to satisfy their wants by buying trending products for gifts, or traveling to exotic locations even when they do not earn enough money. This type of overspending can soon lead to debt, causing financial strain long after the holiday season has ended.

Not Shopping Around For The Best Deals

People often make the mistake of not shopping around for the best deals during the holidays, which can lead to overspending. By comparing prices and searching for the best deals, individuals can save money and avoid overspending.

By recognizing these mistakes and taking steps to avoid them, individuals can have a stress-free and financially-stable holiday season. A budget, wise use of credit cards, preventing overspending on gifts, travel, or decorations, and shopping around for the best deals are essential tips to help you stay on track.

B.H.S. - Managing Debt During Bankruptcy And Holiday Spending

Budgeting Techniques For The Holidays

The holidays can be exciting, but it’s easy to get carried away with spending. To avoid overwhelming debt and financial strain, it’s crucial to have a budget and stick to it. Here are some techniques to help you stay on track during the holidays.

Making A List & Spending Limit

One of the easiest ways to control your holiday spending is by making a list of people you want to buy gifts for and setting a spending limit for each person. This helps you prioritize your spending and ensures that you don’t overspend on a gift for one person. Having a budget allows you to buy thoughtful gifts without breaking the bank.

Save Up For The Holidays

Another way to budget for the holidays is by saving up every month leading up to the gift-giving seasons. This helps you build up a fund specifically for holiday spending and ensures that significant expenses won’t catch you off guard. By saving a little bit each month, you’ll have more money to spend on the things that matter most. Even setting aside $5/month will make the holidays that much less stressful.

Compare Prices & Shop For Deals

Remember to check out the discounted items, ongoing sales, and special holiday discounts at your favorite stores! Make sure to ask about student, senior, and veteran discounts when applicable.

Using Cash Instead Of Credit Cards

Try using cash instead of credit cards to avoid overspending during the holiday season. With cash, you can keep track of your spending and stick to your budget. Additionally, seeing the physical money leave your wallet can give you a better sense of your expenses. By using cash, you also won’t have to worry about paying interest on any holiday spending debt you incur.

Following these budgeting techniques allows you to enjoy the holiday season without worrying about financial strain. Remember to be mindful of your spending and stick to your budget. By doing so, you can avoid the common mistakes that often lead to overwhelming debt during the holidays.

Exploring Bankruptcy As An Option

If you find yourself dealing with an overwhelming amount of debt due to holiday spending, bankruptcy may be an option. Bankruptcy is a legal process that allows individuals to discharge or reorganize their debt, depending on the bankruptcy chapter they may qualify for. It is a way for individuals or businesses to get a fresh financial start that offers a pathway to financial wellness.

Please note that bankruptcy is a financial resource that has helped millions of families in the United States regain financial stability. It’s always a good idea to reach out to a Bankruptcy Attorney to review your financial options so you can sleep more peacefully at night.

What Is Bankruptcy?

Along with providing a fresh financial start, bankruptcy also provides an automatic stay. After this automatic stay goes into effect, creditors must stop trying to collect from you. The most common types of bankruptcy for individuals are Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also called a “complete” bankruptcy. It’s typically a good fit for individuals who cannot repay a substantial amount of unsecured debt, like credit card debt, medical bills, or personal loans.


  • It allows individuals to discharge most types of unsecured debt.
  • The process is relatively quick, typically taking around three to four months to complete.
  • It can provide a fresh start for individuals struggling with debt.
  • While bankruptcy may impact a credit score, this is only a momentary setback as there are many ways to rebuild a credit score so that it bounces back stronger than ever. The financial impact of bankruptcy on one’s credit score does not measure to the negative impact on one’s credit score from unpaid debts.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a “wage earner” or “restructuring” bankruptcy. It is a repayment plan that can last anywhere from three to five years so that the debtor can keep their assets and pay off some or all of the debt over time. This type of bankruptcy is best for people who need to catch up on mortgage payments and taxes or make too much to qualify for a Chapter 7.


  • It can provide a fresh start for individuals who are struggling to pay off their debt.
  • It can help individuals get caught up on past due payments for secured debts.
  • It allows for the modification of certain contracts, such as reducing interest rates and sometimes paying the principal amount instead of the full amount owed.
  • While it may not be an option for individuals who do not have a regular income, a Chapter 13 filing allows you to have your payment plan confirmed by the court without consent from your creditors.

Which Type Of Bankruptcy Is Right For You?

The type of bankruptcy that is right for you will depend on your specific financial situation. If you have a significant amount of unsecured debt and cannot pay it off, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the right choice. However, if you have a regular income and can make payments over a certain number of years, Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be a better option.

Consulting with a Bankruptcy Attorney is essential to determine which type of bankruptcy chapter is right for you.

From Overspending To Overcoming: Strategies For Debt Management And Bankruptcy Survival

Why Hire A Bankruptcy Attorney From Lincoln-Goldfinch Law?

Filing for bankruptcy can be a complex and overwhelming process. Thus, hiring an experienced Bankruptcy Attorney is vital. A Bankruptcy Lawyer from Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can help you navigate the process and protect your rights.

With a combined average of over 8 decades in bankruptcy law, they’re here to help you during every part of your journey. They will assist you with each step, from exploring every possible strategy to achieve the best outcome for your case to helping you organize the necessary documentation to ensure that your paperwork is filed efficiently.

Our Bankruptcy Attorneys can help you work out a repayment plan that is fair and manageable for you. They’ve helped people from all backgrounds reach their financial goals and are always ready to help their clients reach financial peace.

Lincoln-Goldfinch Law Is Here For You

Holiday spending can be a significant source of stress and financial strain for many people. However, by avoiding overspending, creating a budget, shopping around for deals, and using cash instead of credit cards, your finances can stay on track during the holidays. While bankruptcy may be an option for those with overwhelming debt, it’s important to remember that there are steps you can take to prevent financial strain in the first place.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by debt and need help figuring out your next step, it’s essential to reach out to Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Our experienced Bankruptcy Lawyers can help you understand your options and guide you to financial wellness. Don’t let the stress of holiday spending and debt ruin your holiday season. Contact Lincoln-Goldfinch Law today to schedule your free consultation.

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About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as greencards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job. After the pandemic we began offering bankruptcy services in addition to immigration I realized how much lack of information there is in financial literacy resources in Spanish.

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