Erase Debt or Buy That Christmas Tree - Too Many Decisions, Oh M

So you have been eliminating debt for many months and now it's time for the holidays and one of the largest expenses can be the Christmas tree. It is not just the tree purchase itself, but all of the accessories that go along with it: lights, ornaments, garland, and everything else. So do you continue to Erase Debt or Buy That Christmas Tree - Too Many Decisions, Oh My!

It does not have to be an either / or decision. You should be able to do both, erase debt and buy a Christmas tree.

1. Don't Go For the Rockefeller Center Tree

You do not have to buy some huge behemoth of a tree for your living room. Just because your living room has 20-foot tall cathedral ceilings, doesn't mean you need a 19-foot tree. The taller and fuller a tree, the more expensive it will be. Settle in on a tree that is smaller and fuller, if that is your style.

2. Real Tree vs. Fake Tree

Oh the one question that is bound to cause eggnog fist-fights in any family. Should you get a real tree or a fake tree. Throughout my life my family has had both. When I was a kid there were years we had a real one and there were years where we just threw up the fake one. Honestly, all our Christmas gatherings may not have been white with snow, but they were always fun, no matter what tree we had.

Be aware that if you are on a strict budget, a fake tree can be much more economical than a real one. And the purchase of a fake tree is a one-time purchase that could last you more than 10 or 20 years. Whereas with a real tree you have to buy a new one every year. So if you are budget conscious (and shouldn't we all be at the holidays) then seriously consider a fake tree.

This year I saw some really fabulous fake trees at Walmart. There was a gorgeous 6-foot tall white one for only $40. And the lights were already built into it. Just snap three pieces together and plug them together and voila, a pre-lit Christmas tree up and ready in less than 10-minutes. You can't beat that. And, in case you were wondering, yes I bought one for our family room.

3. Go Without a Tree Altogether

And if things are tight with your budget this year, consider going without a tree altogether. If you are planning on spending the holidays with family and friends and you will be away from home for an extended period of time, then enjoy their tree and decorations and don't purchase one this year for your house. Think of it, you get all the benefits of holiday decorations without putting them up and then you come home to your own house and don't have to put anything away. And it costs you nothing. Can't beat that on a tight budget.

So remember, when it comes to the Christmas tree there are all types of options for all types of budgets. Just don't over-spend and you can continue to erase debt, build wealth, and enjoy a Merry Christmas debt-free!