Last Minute Holiday Shopping Tips to Help Reduce Stress
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® offers advice for shoppers who have waited until after Black Friday and Cyber Monday to purchase holiday gifts.
With the holiday season in full swing it is easy for stressed consumers to stop living within their budget. They simply pull out their credit cards and assume they will figure out how to pay for things when the bills come in January. For people trying hard to get through the holiday season without incurring additional credit card debt, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) has some last minute holiday shopping tips to keep you free of debt stress.
“Holiday gift-giving can be a wonderful experience, especially when you are able to bring joy to someone else’s life without hurting your own because of overspending,” says Bruce McClary, spokesman for the NFCC. “There’s no joy in poor money management skills that result in overspending and deep debt. Therefore, our gift this holiday season is the gift of information and advice to help consumers overcome deep debt and maintain good financial health.”
The NFCC offers free and educational tips to the many holiday shoppers who will add to the projected holiday sales of $682 billion projected by the National Retail Association.
NFCC Tips for last minute holiday shopping tips that keep you free of debt stress:
Consider creative gift-giving: When it comes to gifts, we all know it’s the thought that counts. Consider gifts that have a personal touch, such as homemade gifts like cookies, candies or other prepared foods. Consider making a fruit basket, which is both economical and healthy. And a personal gift certificate good for your time and talents such as baby sitting, washing the car, running errands, or cooking a meal are always appreciated.
Make a shopping list and pay with cash. Stick to your shopping list and spending limit! A realistic budget is essential for keeping spending under control. Pay with cash when possible and leave your checkbook and credit cards at home to avoid temptations for unplanned and unnecessary purchases.
Keep track of your spending. Tally the receipts from all holiday expenses, including gifts, postage, meals, entertainment and decorations. Once you’ve completed your shopping list, stop shopping! More mall time can amount to more spending. Those who have kept to their budgets will start the year with less debt and less stress.
Even those with the best of intentions may end the holiday shopping season with more debt than you planned. Remember, you don’t have to solve your financial problems alone. NFCC member agencies have trained and certified credit counselors who offer a range of financial management and debt reduction services.
To be automatically connected to an NFCC member agency, dial (800) 388-2227, or visit the NFCC website at www.NFCC.org to find an agency online.