• Reading time:3 mins read

Did you know that this time of year is infamous for getting consumers into debt. No surprise, huh. Christmas bills lead to debt all year long. Many of us feel the pressure to buy presents for loved ones, friends and co-workers  and overspend our budget, sometimes by thousands of dollars. Consumers go into debt on average of $2000 to $4000 each Christmas and then spend most of the new year trying to pay it off. When credit card companies charge upwards of 25% interest, consumers will be paying hundreds of dollars in interest. So here are some things to think about for the upcoming year. If you haven’t already done your shopping, think smart. The Christmas spending cycle has to stop somewhere, so why not make a change this December and give yourself a break in 2015.

Here are some helpful tips from financial planners on Christmas spending.

  • Budgeting and planning ahead is the number one key to success. Set an attainable goal of what you put away each month for the following Christmas. Budget out what to spend and when and you’ll avoid costly Credit card bills later.
  • Cut back on Christmas spending. Make a reasonable list and stick to it. Don’t fall for “Black Friday” deals on things you really don’t need.
  • Make your list early and start before the Christmas rush. Keeping on budget is much easier when you have plenty of time to plan.
  • Don’t spend more than you have. This is an easy one, but Consumers fall into the spending trap each year because of TV advertisements, special incentives from stores and credit cards. The entire season has become about “spending” When in fact, we should be “spending” TIME with loved ones and friends.
  • Change your perception of the holidays. It’s not all about the presents. It’s about the joy of the season.
  • Think homemade gifts or special things you can do for someone, without breaking the bank.
  • Random acts of kindness can be worth so much more than a wrapped present that most likely will sit on a shelf gathering dust or adding to the Christmas “10” lbs Americans on average gain each Season.

Spend wisely and save yourself the horrible January bills.

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