With the holiday season in full swing it is easy for stressed shoppers 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 holidays without incurring additional credit card debt, LSS Financial Counseling has some last minute shopping tips to keep you free of debt stress.
Holiday gift-giving can be a wonderful experience, especially when you bring joy to someone else’s life without hurting your own because of overspending,” says Becky Pakarinen. “There’s no joy in feeling stressed from overspending and accruing debt. That’s why our gift this holiday season is the gift of information and advice to help people maintain good financial health.”
LSS 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.
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 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 planned. Remember, you don’t have to solve your financial problems alone. LSS has trained financial specialists to help you create a realistic budget and will provide all of your options to pay down your debt. LSS is a Minnesota nonprofit organization and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC). For your free session call 888.577.2227 or click here to GET STARTED ONLINE.