#021 – On this episode, Mayra gives ideas on how to make some extra income in the next 4-6 weeks before Christmas, as well as inexpensive gift ideas.  Let’s get thru 2021 without additional debt!  You can Connect with Mayra at Debtfreelatina.com or find her on Instagram at Instagram.com/DebtFree.Latina or at Mayra.Alejandra.Garcia


[0:00] Christmas is around the corner and a lot of us don’t know what we’re going to do to not accrue any debt. So I’m going to give you a few ideas on what you can do now.


[0:16] Welcome to Debt-Free Latina, the podcast where you can finally realize your dream of being debt free and feeling peace about your financial future. And now your host, Mayra Alejandra Garcia.


[0:34] Hola, hola. Thank you so much for being here. Today I want to talk about ways you can avoid adding more debt to your life. So one of the things that is super hard right now, is that you only have less than two months before Christmas. We are in the middle of November already and we need to figure out how in the next 4-6 weeks, we’re going to get all these gifts for our loved ones, for our kids, or for whomever in our family. And a lot of us are not going to have extra income coming in during this time. We still have the normal bills, we still have goals to hit, especially if you’re trying to pay off debt. So how are you going to make a little extra income or how are you going to be able to pay for these gifts without accruing additional debt?


[1:43] One of the things is that you need to start planning now. So I have a list of everybody on my list that is going to get a gift. So that’s number one. I would just pull up a spreadsheet, if you’re a spreadsheet person like me. On one column, put the names. On the next column, put an idea for that person. So column two would be a gift idea. And then column three, I want you to look at how much that gift idea is and if there’s any deals coming up or anything that might help you be able to find that gift at an affordable rate or whatever. So put a dollar amount on it. Once you do that, I want you at the very bottom of your list, to add it all up. So column three has to have a subtotal at the bottom. Then I want you to start looking at what can you do? one of the things that I recommend is sell something. We actually have a few things up for sale on Facebook marketplace and offer up right this minute. And the reason for that is even though we have a certain amount budgeted for gifts, we want to see if we can cashflow it. Is there something around the house laying around that we can just sell? So if you’re interested in a Cricut machine, we have one for sale. Sarah is no longer, my daughter is no longer interested in the Cricut so we have it up for sale and it’s in great condition and we have tons of supplies for it. So I just thought I’d throw that in as a bonus for whomever wants it. So that is something that we’re doing. Also, one of the things that you can do is pause memberships, pause whatever it is, whether it’s a gym membership, or maybe it’s a membership for something that you enjoy, but towards the end of the year, everybody’s so busy that maybe you don’t have to pay for it in December. There are so many things that we are just not going to use between now and the end of the year. So go through your list of all your bills and see what you can avoid in the next month or two. One of the things, just an idea, is like Netflix or Amazon. You can go on Amazon right now and pause your membership. You can pause your… what did I pause recently? It was audible. That’s what it is. I love my books. As you know, I love to read, but I’m not going to read in the next couple weeks. So I paused that and that’s gonna save me another 15 bucks and it all adds up. It all adds up. Another couple of things you can do is make your coffee at home because it’s expensive. I do limit my coffee during the holidays. I try not to buy it. I would much rather spend it on gifts. It’s much more fun to do that and I can make coffee at home. It’s fine.


[5:29] If you are in a situation where you simply cannot afford Christmas gifts this year, there is no shame in telling your loved ones that it’s just not in the budget this year. Maybe you could ask, what is your favorite dessert? Or their favorite cookie? Maybe you bake this year and baking gets expensive. Let me tell you, that adds up too, but sometimes we can work it into our groceries. So if that’s something you want to do, Dollar Tree has these cute little bags that you can put cookies in or whatever baked goods you make and it’s so cute. I used to, when I worked at Channel Five, here at the CBS station in Phoenix, I had somebody on my team that would give us these wonderful homemade cookies every single year. I know it’s a little iffy right now with COVID and stuff, but I mean, if it’s your family you guys live, you guys are breaking bread often and you guys are still mingling. Why not? Maybe don’t take them to work.


[6:55] But another thing too is a couple of years ago, about two years ago, I said there was no Christmas gifts. None. Not because we didn’t have the money, but because we’re like, the kids have everything they need at the time. My sister’s kids were already teenagers, mine are a little older, and I was like you know what, they don’t need anything. They’ve got everything. So we did a white elephant gift, which was super fun. It was really interesting to see how my kids reacted to things that they had no say and it was a random gift. I have to say, my daughter was not very happy about that, but I was it was a teachable moment. It was a teachable moment that it’s not all about the gift. It’s not, and we really get to teach them that it’s okay to not get everything you want. It’s okay to give instead. We can give in so many ways, not just actual gifts, we can give on our time. We can give our talents. And let’s try and stay within our budget because that is super important. It is definitely something that we are going to strive for.


[8:30] If you’re having a hard time, I would highly recommend, do not get into debt for Christmas. If you don’t have it, start telling people, I don’t have it. I’m not going to have Christmas gifts this year. We’re either going to do a white elephant and just pick something around the house that we already have. Or just don’t accrue debt because of Christmas. It’s just not worth it. However, you can learn from it. So starting in January of 2022, you can start a Christmas budget. And so let’s say you want to spend $1,000 for Christmas for your entire family. Well, that’s going to mean you’re going to have to save $100 a month, between January and October, so that in November comes Black Friday and all the deals, you have $1,000. That’s what we do. And I know that that’s so hard for some people, because you don’t always have $100, but if you get into the habit of doing your budget every single month, you add it there. And that’s really… it just takes discipline, it takes determination, and you can learn from it and not be in this situation this time next year.


[10:05] Thanks for listening to Debt-Free Latina. Make sure you hit that subscribe button so you can take Mayra with you on your journey to become debt free as you build financial wealth. Looking for more? Follow Mayra on Instagram @debtfree.latina, on Facebook @debtfreelatina, and online at debtfreelatina.com.