According to the National Retail Federation, this holiday season Americans will spend about 4 percent more on their loved ones than they did last year, in part because of the roaring economy.

But for some Americans, including those with high credit card debt, substantial student loans or less rosy job situations, the 2019 holiday season will require cutting back in order to get ahead. For those individuals, trimming their holiday budget is the right thing to do. But it doesn’t have to be painful, says the aptly named Tina Antrim (whose name includes the word “trim”).

Antrim, author of Escape the Paycheck to Paycheck Trap: The Ultimate Plan to Get Out of Debt and Supersize Your Savings (Life Change Publishing), has this advice for holiday shoppers watching their pennies:

  • Start thinking about your budget and how much you want to spend now—well before the holidays
  • Have a conversation with your children in which you explain why you need to spend less this year so you can have a more generous holiday next year.
  • Beware of Black Friday and Cyber Monday—both days can lead to emotional, endorphin-driven bad spending decisions. Some deals are better after the those “holidays” have passed
  • Remember, you don’t have to spend a lot to make people happy. Small presents given to a lot of people can multiply holiday joy in ways large presents to a few cannot

Praise for Escape the Paycheck to Paycheck Trap

“This is the perfect book for anyone who is fed up living week to week. If you are ready to take control of your paycheck, this is the book you have been looking for.” — Kirk Collins, CFP®

“In a society that encourages financial bondage, Tina gives us practical ways to break free. This must-read is a wake-up call to anyone who’s tired of constant financial frustration and looking forward to real freedom.”— Eric Dubach, Senior Pastor, Brookside Church


About the Author

Tina Antrim, M.S.Ed, BCC, is a speaker, author, and board-certified coach specializing in financial life coaching. She is the founder of Antrim Financial Coaching and is passionate about helping people change their behaviors around money, so they can have a secure and abundant financial future. In addition to her financial coaching practice, she is also a high school counselor. Escape the Paycheck to Paycheck Trap is her first book.

The Y’all Southerner’s Guide To The Holidays