ACCC on How to Budget for the Holidays

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National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling shares important tips on budgeting for the holidays

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If consumers plan and create a budget far enough in advance, they will have time to save more, shop for the best deals and remain organized and stress free.

Although the holidays bring cheer and celebration, they can also create stress – especially when it comes to finances. The key to enjoying an affordable holiday season is creating a budget that covers all expenses, from gift giving and charitable donations to holiday parties and travel. In order to help consumers with their holiday spending, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling has provided tips on how to budget for the holidays.

“Sticking to a realistic budget helps make the most of available funds and can prevent overspending during the holiday season,” says Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “If consumers plan and create a budget far enough in advance, they will have time to save more, shop for the best deals and remain organized and stress free.”

According to the 10th annual Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey, 44 percent of shoppers plan to spend more money on their holiday shopping in 2016 than they did in 2015. The National Retail Federation (NRF) expects that retail sales will hit almost $656 billion during November and December, which is a 3.6 percent increase from 2015. The NRF’s survey conducted by Prosper Insights found that American Consumers plan to spend an average of about $936 during the holiday shopping season this year.

American Consumer Credit Counseling provides consumers with tips on how to budget for the holidays:

1.    Create a budget – start by considering all of your expenses this holiday season. Think about if you plan to host a holiday party, what you will bring to holiday parties that you attend, any new holiday outfits, gift wrapping supplies, travel and any charitable donations you plan to make. Take some time and fill out ACCC’s Holiday Budget Worksheet (http://www.consumercredit.com/media/11858/holiday-budget-worksheet-2013.pdf) to get an estimate of how much you plan to spend.

2.    Consider a Gift Giving Guide – create a realistic list of who you want to buy gifts for and what you plan on giving them. ACCC’s Holiday Shopping Checklist (http://www.consumercredit.com/media/11861/holiday-shopping-checklist-2013.pdf) will help you stay organized and keep track of progress and spending.

3.    Start shopping early – Although December can bring great sales, it can also cause a load of stress shopping in crowded stores. Waiting until the last minute can cause overspending and buyer’s remorse. Get a head start and shop early to decrease the stress and enjoy the holiday season.

4.    Set email alerts – save money by signing up for email alerts at your favorite stores to get the heads up on future sales and deals.

5.    Comparison shopping – before making a purchase be sure to check all stores and websites to ensure you are getting the best deal. Don’t forget to factor in shipping costs.

6.    Keep track of spending – be sure to write down every purchase you make in order to keep track of your spending. When using credit cards or shopping online, it is easy for spending to get out of control.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at http://www.ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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