What I’ve Learned from Christmas Shopping Without Credit Cards

I never used to believe that getting all my Christmas shopping done for my kids, family, teachers, etc. was possible without using credit cards. Until this year, when I did all my Christmas shopping without credit cards. Every single gift I bought was bought using my bank account or cash on-hand. I decided to go a different route this year, just to see if I could do it. After all, I’d been working hard all year to pay off credit card debt. Using them now would only undo the work I’d put in.

Here’s what I’ve learned since finishing up my Christmas shopping debt-free:

It’s Totally Possible

Have a credit-free Christmas
Source: Consumerist Dot Com via Flickr

It really is possible, even when you’re not rich. I make decent money, but I’m far from rich. I still have debt from student loans and credit cards that I pay every month. I don’t have loads of money left over after paying bills. Yet, I managed to make all my Christmas purchases without accruing a single ounce of debt.

How? Simply, because I had the willpower to do it. In previous years, it was easier to keep buying things with credit, thinking I could pay them off later. That’s exactly what leads people into credit problems, though. Luckily, I’m really good with bills and getting things paid off quickly. But that doesn’t mean that the temptation wasn’t there to spend outside my means.

This year, I went in with a plan. I wouldn’t let myself touch a credit card for anything. If I couldn’t afford it, I didn’t get it. Yet, I still ended up with enough gifts for everyone on my list that will make them happy on Christmas morning.