How to Take Control of Your Holiday Spending | Families
The Holiday Countdown Begins…
Ready or not, the holiday season is fast approaching. Are you prepared for the extra food, travel, entertainment and gift expenses? It’s not too late to create a plan to help you get and stay on track with your holiday spending.
Consider the following strategies for spreading holiday cheer without spreading yourself financially thin.
- Create your holiday budget. Don’t forget to include food, postage or other incidentals in your plan.
- Set your priorities. With only a limited amount of money available, make sure you focus your spending on what is most important to you and your family.
- Examine your current budget and look for a place or two to trim. Take your lunch to work, cancel that gym membership you never use, or give yourself your own mani/pedi, and put the money you’re saving towards your holiday budget.
- Your junk may be someone else’s treasure. Consider selling your unwanted items on Craigslist or hold a garage sale.
- If you worry about frittering away your newfound cash if it is left in your checking account, open a separate holiday account. You can then make regular deposits into this account year round and you will be ready to go next holiday season!
- Are you a member of any loyalty reward programs? Often, points accumulate in these programs and we forget to use them. Examine your statements to see if you have enough points you can redeem for merchandise, gift cards or magazine subscriptions.
- Consider layaway. Many retailers are offering this service as an alternative to putting goods on credit cards. Layaway programs typically require a down payment and charge a small service fee for the convenience for this service.
Apprisen has created a Holiday Spending Guide to help you have no financial regrets this holiday season. The guide will offer you tips and guide you through the process of creating a budget, minimizing unplanned spending, and making the most of the season while keeping your finances on track.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Tri-State, (CCCS) a local nonprofit credit counseling agency known nationally as Apprisen Financial Advocates, has been helping consumers manage their finances and get out of debt since 1955. Certified counselors provide money management, debt counseling, HUD-approved housing counseling and financial education. The oldest nonprofit credit counseling agency in the country, CCCS has local office in Evansville, IN. Accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), CCCS is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and AICCCA. Information is available 24/7 by calling 800-355-2227 (or 812-422-1108) or visiting the website, www.apprisen.com. You can also follow CCCS/Apprisen on Facebook at facebook.com/apprisen and on Twitter at twitter.com/apprisen.