San Francisco, Calif. (PRWEB) October 8, 2008
Ahh, the holiday season--time for holiday cheer, winter wonderlands, and presents, presents, presents! But after all the wrapping paper and ribbon has been recycled or thrown out, consumers are often left with the aftermath of conspicuous consumption--post-holiday debt. To help families keep holiday spending under control, GreatDad.com (http://greatdad.com), a leading source of experience, recommendations, inspiration and advice for dads, offers families some advice to avoid overspending during the season and steer clear of increased, post-holiday debt.
"Setting a budget--and sticking to it--will go a long way to help you stay on track and avoid excess spending," said Paul Banas, CEO of Greatdad.com. "The holidays also provide a great time for you to teach your kids about financial responsibility. Giving your kids an allowance and helping them budget their spending on gifts and other holiday items forces them to think more carefully about what they're buying--and provides you with some control over how much is being spent."
Additional tips to help prevent overspending include:
- Start budgeting early. Get in the habit of spending within a budget before the holidays get into full swing. For example, Halloween is one of the earlier seasonal events where spending can start to get out of control. Overall consumer spending around Halloween is expected to grow by 11 percent in 2008, according to market research firm Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group. By creating a budget for both parents and kids prior to the holidays, you'll be in the habit of working within a set amount rather than just spending impulsively.
- Shop early online or through catalogs. By shopping early online or through catalogs before the holiday rush, you can take advantage of "free shipping" offers or save on bulk shipping of items. You also avoid last-minute shopping, which often leads to spending more than you planned because of time-constraints.
- Avoid impulse credit buying. According to Cardtrak.com, American consumers add an additional $10,000 to their credit card debt during the holidays. When possible, keep away from using credit cards. Avoid the temptation to buy little extra presents for people beyond the budget you've set for them.
- Think differently. Instead of heading straight to the mall, think about other gift options. Personalized gifts such as making photo albums or baking holiday treats are alternatives that are not only inexpensive but also provide a chance for parents and kids to spend time together. "Experience" gifts such as a free day for mom, a sleepover at Grandma's house or a day sledding with the kids help create valuable memories while spending less in the process.
"The holidays are such a time of excess--most of us don't need more stuff and would actually prefer less stuff," said Jim Gebhardt, founder of the Gebhardt Group (http://gebhardtgroupinc.com) a financial services firm based in Lafayette, Calif. "Working with your kids to follow a budget and come up with creative gift ideas that don't cost a lot helps teach them financial responsibility while they're young--and can help change the focus from spending money to spending valuable time together."
For more tips on how to keep holiday spending on track, go to http://www.greatdad.com/holidays.
The only online parenting resource with a dad's point of view, Greatdad.com is headquartered in San Francisco, California. GreatDad.com is a leading source of experience, recommendations, inspiration and advice for dads - delivered from the male perspective.
Editors' Note: Paul Banas is available for media interviews upon request