Springboard Says, “Don’t Get Spooked by Your Halloween Bills”

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October 31st can be a scary time of year, more so for consumers who allow their budgets to get massacred by ghouls and goblins.

October 31st can be a scary time of year, more so for consumers who allow their budgets to get massacred by ghouls and goblins. Spending on costumes, candy, parties and decorations for the house can often lead to significant and unanticipated costs. This type of “special occasion” spending often leads consumers to increasingly turn to their credit cards or even resort to payday loans.

Springboard, a non-profit consumer credit counseling organization, would like consumers to take a hard look at what they plan to purchase to avoid unnecessary Halloween debt.

“Halloween can be so much fun for families, especially those with young children. Unfortunately, some parents find themselves pressured into spending more than they can afford or have budgeted,” said Dianne Wilkman, President and CEO of Springboard. With Election Day right around the corner, many consumers may purchase the new Bush or Kerry masks. However, high in-demand costumes carry premium prices, so always remember to bargain shop before making a final purchase.

“The pressure to get the trendy costume can be overwhelming. By establishing a budget and doing some smart shopping, consumers won’t be spooked when they see their bank balance or their credit card statement.”

With that thought in mind, Springboard encourages consumers to follow six easy tips to help them keep their pocketbook in check during Halloween. They recommend consumers:

•    Set a Budget – Decide in advance how much you can afford. If you have to use a credit card, set a limit and log each purchase.

•    Shop Smart – Research the best place to buy the items that you need. Most discount stores like Big Lots carry the same products as big name stores.

•    Make Your Own Costumes – Costumes can be the biggest budget item, especially when a family has many young children all wanting to wear the latest fad. Making your own costumes is a good way to save money and provide your children with creative Halloween memories.

•    Buy Candy In Bulk – Treats for the kids can be purchased at a discount when bought in bulk or in extra-large bags at a warehouse store. Don’t forget to check out promotional candy sales at grocery and discount stores a few weeks before Halloween.

•    Don’t Buy Too Early – If candy around the house creates too many temptations for your family wait until the day or so before Halloween to buy trick-or-treat candy – otherwise you might have to buy more at the last minute.

•    Plan Ahead For Next Year – After Halloween many decorations go on sale. Scan the newspaper for sales and plan ahead and buy discounted decorations for the year ahead.

About Springboard Non-Profit Consumer Credit Management

Springboard, a nonprofit credit counseling and education organization founded in 1974, offers assistance with credit report correction, debt management, and money management through confidential counseling and education programs for financially troubled consumers. Springboard is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Services for Families and Children, signifying high standards for agency governance, fiscal integrity, counselor certification and service delivery policies that ensure low-cost confidential services performed in an ethical manner. Springboard is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. Springboard has counseling locations throughout Southern California offering face-to-face, online and nationwide phone counseling services. For more information on Springboard, call 1-800-947-3752 ext. 702 or visit their web site at http://www.credit.org.

Contact:

Dianne Wilkman, President/CEO

(800) 947-3752 x702

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