So you’ve received your bankruptcy discharge. Maybe it’s been a year or only a few months since you exited bankruptcy; but the holidays are here already. And while this is a time to be “jolly” and generous, it is also a dangerous time for post-bankruptcy debtors. Overspending and credit card abuse can destroy a post-bankruptcy debtor’s second chance.

How post-bankruptcy debtors can survive the holidays:

Post-bankruptcy debtors should avoid spending their cash on expensive gifts. Consider inexpensive but thoughtful gifts for close friends and family and send holiday cards to everyone else.
Post-bankruptcy debtors should avoid using their credit cards to buy holiday gifts. The use of credit cards during the holidays is almost a surefire way to ensure that you will get into debt and rack up outrageous interest charges. Make this holiday a cash only one.
Post-bankruptcy debtors should never spend their emergency savings to buy holiday gifts. We know that it is easy to get swept up in the spirit of the holidays but don’t jeopardize your financial well-being by depleting your savings for the purpose of gift giving.
Post-bankruptcy debtors should consider making a volunteer activity their family holiday tradition. Many families spend hundreds of dollars eating at fancy restaurants for the holidays. Why not save your money and spend a little time helping those less fortunate?
If you’re a post-bankruptcy debtor with high-maintenance kids, consider giving them a small savings account or other financial products as gifts. Also consider taking this time to teach them about the things they can do to help the family avoid a second bankruptcy filing.