Preparing for Holiday Spending

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Holiday gifts, travel, and celebrations can lead to major debt long after the holidays, but taking steps to plan before the holidays can help ensure you don’t start the New Year off on the wrong foot. To be prepared, it’s important to have a holiday spending plan before you start shopping. Budgeting can help you take control, even when the pressure to spend is everywhere.

Debt accumulated during the holidays can stick around, well into the New Year. Image of moneyAmericans spend an average of $1,054 during the holidays. Only half plan to pay it off in 3 months or less. Of the remaining half, 29% said they will need 5 months or more. To avoid holiday debt, here are a few smart shopping and saving tips.

  • Create a Holiday Budget. Figure out how much you can afford to spend this holiday season. Consider what flexible spending, (eating out, movies) you can cut out to put toward holiday spending.
  • Make your List. Create a list of all the people you will need to buy gifts for this year and choose an amount to spend on each person.
  • Choose Thoughtful Gifts. Spending a lot on holiday gifts isn’t necessary. Take some time to consider your gift giving, personal gifts tend to mean more and can be less expensive.
  • Use Cash, Not Credit. Try to commit to using only cash or a debit card to help prevent yourself from overspending.

For more information on planning a free money management workshop for your community, civic group, or church on topics such as; budgeting, saving on grocery shopping, and how to understanding your credit report and correct inaccurate information, please contact Traci Dixon, Community and Rural Development Agent at (252) 459-9810 or Traci_Dixon@ncsu.edu.