The holiday season can easily break the bank no matter your financial situation, but it can be especially difficult during bankruptcy. Whether you are considering bankruptcy or already in the process of filing, the thought of buying gifts and decorations can leave you feeling helpless.

While it may seem like a daunting task, it is possible to get through the holidays on a bankruptcy budget. All it takes is creating a budget, communicating expectations and getting creative. 

1. Budget wisely

Setting up a budget may not be the most fun or joyful thing to do as the holidays begin, but it can save you a lot of money. Determine set spending amounts for each category of people. Here is what an example budget may look like:

  • Parents, siblings and other close family members: $50 each
  • Cousins, grandchildren and other relatives: $20 each
  • Close friends: $30 each

Your budget may look slightly different depending on the unique details of your finances and gift-giving situation, but this gives you an idea.

2. Communicate with the recipients

It is important to be open about your plan with your family members and friends. Let them know that you may be spending a little less on gifts this holiday season. When people know in advance what to expect, they will not be disappointed. Your loved ones will understand that you are going through financial hardship. 

3. Get creative

Consider alternatives to traditional gifts and find ways you can show people you love them without spending much-or any-money. You can create handmade gifts, make a home-baked pie or offer free babysitting services. Remember, your time and attention matter more to those around you than how much you can afford to splurge on them. Now is the perfect time to give something meaningful and out-of-the-box. 

Managing the holiday months while declaring bankruptcy may seem impossible at first, but you can do it with some effort.