How to Avoid Holiday Debt | Culture Meets Money with Brandyn Rodriguez

Posted by Nailah Herbert in Culture Meets MoneyDecember 1, 20223 min read
Key Takeaways
  • CapWay invited Brandyn Rodriguez to speak on the Culture Meets Money show to share her debt payoff journey and how others can avoid the many holiday season financial traps. 
  • In 2020, Brandyn Rodriguez and her husband, DJ, paid off more than $137,000 worth of debt. 
  • Brandyn Rodriguez is encouraging others to make a plan to pay off their debt through her Instagram and website, Positively B.  
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

In 2020, Brandyn Rodriguez and her husband, DJ, paid off more than $137,000 worth of debt. The couple's debt included car payments, credit card debt, medical bills, and student loans. But, they buckled down and started paying off debt because of two reasons: interest rates and their children. 


Since interest rates can add thousands of dollars to their debt, Brandyn wanted to ensure her debt was paid off before the end of 2020. Brandyn and DJ also wanted to show their children that they wouldn’t have to make the same money mistakes that she and her husband did. Now, through her Instagram and website, Positively B, she is encouraging others to make a plan to pay off their debt. 

CapWay invited Brandyn to speak on the Culture Meets Money show to share her debt payoff journey and how others can avoid the many holiday season financial traps. 


How to Avoid Holiday Financial Traps


“I understand people want to go out and shower family and friends with gifts, but there is no reason that you should go into debt to do that.” 

- Brandyn Rodriguez, Culture Meets Money 


Holidays can cause people to go into consumer debt for multiple reasons, like buying gifts, purchasing plane tickets to visit family, and buying party supplies for social gatherings. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught in financial traps with all the temptations surrounding the holiday season.

Some of the most common financial traps that can keep you in debt include signing up for a new store credit card to receive a one-time discount or purchasing gifts with the Buy Now, Pay Later program. If you are planning to avoid financial traps during the holiday season, here are two strategies that Brandyn recommends. 

  1. Create a budget and stick to it. Identify who will get what gifts for the holidays and set the price according to your budget. Then, like Santa, make your holiday list and check it twice, so you don’t overspend. Also, consider expenses outside of gifts like decorum, food for holiday festivities, and Secret Santa at your job. 
  2. Get rid of the holiday guilt. If you can’t afford an expensive gift for a loved one, don’t shame yourself for buying something cheaper. Also, if you are being cautious about your finances this holiday season, don’t feel ashamed if you don’t get a loved one a gift. The holiday season is more about family gatherings and surrounding yourself with love, than it is about giving or receiving gifts.



Recommended Read: Buy Nothing Day: Should You Participate?

Opt-Out of Buying Gifts For The Holiday Season


You can decide not to spend any money on holiday gifts. However, for those who opt out of holiday shopping to avoid going into debt, there is no shame in letting your family and friends know that you have decided not to participate in their annual gift exchange


Money conversations are a vital part of building stronger relationships. Your family will appreciate your honesty and transparency and will surely understand your wise decision. After all, the holiday season is about celebrating and being present with family and friends.

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Christmas without emptying your savings or racking up thousands of dollars on your credit card. Below are three frugal ways to celebrate the holidays.


  • Have an ugly sweater Christmas party. If you are hosting the party, you can have a small gathering and pay for the light refreshments, which typically include snacks and beverages like juice, coffee, fruit, cookies, and chips.
  • Potluck dinner with family. A potluck dinner is cost-effective and brings a family together. You can assign guests food and drink categories that way, you can plan accordingly. 
  • Spend time at a local park. A community center or local park is free, making it easy to have get-gathers. If there is snow in your area, sledding or snow tubing is a fun way to bond with your family. 


Recommended Read: How to Stop Impulsing Buying


The Money Wrap-Up


Many Americans incur debt around the holiday season. When a person carries more debt than they can handle, it can lead to stress and anxiety. However, when trying to manage your debt, a plan must be made to pay it off. Fortunately, Brandyn Rodriguez shared actionable tips on the Culture Meets Money show that can help people avoid holiday debt.


Watch the full Culture Meets Money video on YouTube!

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