Silver Spring, MD (Vocus) December 12, 2010
Almost one in every 10 Americans is currently unemployed. Foreclosure filings in the third quarter were up four percent over the previous quarter. Personal savings, if it exists at all, is a fraction of what it should be. And the biggest shopping season of the year is upon us.
Considering the volatility of the economy, consumers would be well-served to take a hard look at their personal financial situation and evaluate how to best approach the holiday season. Self-inflicted financial pain that could have negative consequences for years to come is a gift to no one.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) suggests that consumers take the following true or false Holiday Spending Quiz to assess their current financial stability before they begin shopping:
“The harsh reality is that consumers who answer "true" to two or more of the above are not candidates for a holiday shopping spree,” said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. “Ignoring the reality of your financial situation will almost certainly lead to further financial distress down the road. It will come in the form of an unmanageable debt load, resulting in a damaged credit report and lower credit score, likely limiting your access to future credit. If there were ever a year to approach holiday spending with your head instead of your heart, this is it.”
The NFCC supports financial responsibility, regardless of the season. With the ghosts of Christmas past still lingering on many credit cards, piling new debt on top of old cannot be considered responsible by any measure. With any sacrifice comes reward, and the benefits of not having a mailbox full of bills in January will likely outweigh any lifestyle spending adjustments consumers make during the holidays.
If you're wondering how to deal with holiday spending on a limited budget, reach out for help to an NFCC Member Agency. To find the one closest to you, call toll free (800) 388-2227, or go online to http://www.DebtAdvice.org. For assistance in Spanish, dial (800) 682-9832.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior and build capacity for its Members to deliver the highest quality financial education and counseling services. NFCC Members annually help four million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide. For free and affordable confidential advice through a reputable NFCC Member, call (800) 388-2227, (en Español (800) 682-9832) or visit http://www.nfcc.org. Visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NFCCDebtAdvice and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/NFCCDebtAdvice.
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