As shoppers enter the countdown to Christmas, the NFCC offers tips to help them cross the finish line without compromising their financial well-being. Shoppers who wait until the last minute are often more vulnerable to making poor shopping decisions, and should exercise extra caution. The following tips based on the acronym for countdown should help consumers maintain their financial common sense as they wrap up their holiday shopping.
Credit is a privilege. Treat it responsibly.
Overspending can have long-term consequences.
Use caution when at the ATM machine, guarding against identity theft.
Never leave home without it: your shopping list.
Total holiday spending frequently.
Donâ€™t impulse shop in order to check a gift off the list.
Open new accounts only when needed, not simply to save on todayâ€™s purchase.
Watch out for buy-now-pay-later plans.
Notify creditors immediately of any unusual activity on an account.
In spite of their best intentions, many people will overspend this holiday season and drag debt with them into 2015. This is particularly a problem if new debt was stacked on top of existing debt, making it difficult to responsibly manage. Make 2015 the year you take charge of your financial future. Stop letting debt control you and instead become the master of your finances.
Gail Cunningham manages Media Relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Views expressed are the personal views of the author, and do not represent the views of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, its employees, its members, or its clients