I have SO MANY ways to remain debt free ideas for the holidays but these are a few of my favorites.

1. Give yourself – So many people think that flashy gifts and steep price tags are the way to another person’s heart. Yes, flashy things are nice. A lot of flashy things also break, require batteries, or go out of style. And then what? Give someone something that is full of thought and meaning. Show up and surprise a friend or a loved one with a homecooked meal. So many of our parents and grandparents really just want to see US. See our kids. Spend time laughing and creating more memories. And no, this doesn’t have to be like that Visa commercial where the son shows up to see his mom in a flashy new suit. I am pretty sure mom would be more than happy for you to show up just as you are with a hug and an “I love you”.

2. Sell stuff on Ebay or Craigslist – Buying things for your kids or spouse for Christmas? You know those things are going to just add to what you have already. Before you go shopping, clear out some of the old toys and things they don’t use. Sell them and use that money to buy the new stuff. You’re simplifying your life and it’s a great way to add to your budget this time of year at the same time.

3. Provide a service – What better thing to give a loved one or a friend than your time? Offer to babysit for free. Or just do something you’re good at. Landscaping, cleaning, organizing, fixing dad’s computer, whatever…the list goes on and on of things you can do to help others with your time. Doing this in the form of coupon books is really fun and creative and makes the gift more exciting. This year, I’m giving my mom a coupon book full of things I can do for her and while I’m doing them, she can spend a day with my kids alone being grandma. Everyone wins.

4. Make Gifts – Give baked goods like cookies or fudge in holiday tins. Yum! Or buy inexpensive photo frames or albums and give photos as gifts. Easy way to keep gifts under $10 and they’ll always be cherished.

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