Credit Counselors Offer Advice to Avoid Debt This Christmas

by Bernard Johnson - Date: 2006-12-02 - Word Count: 365 Share This!

The holiday season is a great time of year for most of us, but it's also a time of year when we want to please everyone, and that can lead to spending more than we can afford. A group of credit counselors was surveyed, and here's what they recommend to keep you from getting "scrooged" with debt this Christmas:

The first and most important step is to decide what you can afford to spend this year. Your budget should include the total you can afford to spend, including gifts, food, and travel.Don't forget to include in your budget the extras, like gift wrap, shipping, and cards. As a bonus tip, stock up on all of these items after the holidays to save money next year. Then, make a list of everyone who is expecting a gift this year. Beside the person's name, write down what you can afford to spend. The total you plan to spend cannot exceed your total budget, so you may need to reduce what you can spend on each person to stay within your budget.To save money, consider making some or all of your gifts yourself. Homemade gifts are often the least expensive, and often have more meaning than store bought gifts.Armed with your list and budget, you can now go to the mall. Only spend what you can afford, according to your list. Impulse buying is the number one cause of excessive spending at Christmas, so stick to your budget.Leave your credit cards at home. People who use credit cards spend more than people who pay by cash or debit card, because credit cards don't feel like real money. Shop early. Waiting until the last minute makes it very hard to plan ahead. Shop on the internet. Many web sites allow you to comparison shop, and they are a great source of ideas. Consider a gift pool with your relatives. Instead of buying for everyone, put everyone's name into a hat, and just buy one gift for the person you get. The holidays are supposed to be fun, so plan early, and make the holiday season enjoyable for all, and take the credit counselor's advice and don't get scrooged this Christmas.

Related Tags: credit counseling, credit counselling, christmas spending

Bernard Johnson has many years experience advising people on debt consolidation loans. Visit for a free debt consolidation loan calculator, and visit for information about debt consolidation loans.

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