ACCC Offers Seven Tips on Holiday Budgeting

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American Consumer Credit Counseling discusses seven tips for effective budgeting during the holiday season.

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Pre-planning and setting specific limits can help consumers avoid overspending and falling into financial debt.

Although the holiday season is often a time filled with celebration, the gift-giving process can be stressful for many consumers. With the right budgeting and spending plan, the holiday season will be less of a financial burden. To help take the stress out of the season, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) offers seven tips for budgeting during the holidays.

“It is very easy for consumers to get excited and overspend during the holiday season,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Pre-planning and setting specific limits can help consumers avoid overspending and falling into financial debt.”

According to NRF’s annual consumer spending survey, Americans plan to spend four percent more ($1,047.83) on holiday gifts this year than the $1,007.24 spent last year. Coinstar found that while 65 percent of Americans set holiday budgets, 77 percent of the people surveyed plan on exceeding their budget.

ACCC discusses seven tips for budgeting during the holiday season:

1. Set a realistic budget – Consumers should be conscious of their financial standing, and then decide how much money they can and are willing to spend. Setting a realistic budget will help consumers successfully plan for the holidays without falling into debt.

2. Cut back on extras – If a consumer does not have any holiday money saved, it may be useful to cut back on extras during the holiday season. Extras to cut back on could include eating out, going to the movies, or buying coffee daily.

3. Start shopping early – Starting to shop early can save consumers money by allowing them to browse for sales and engage in price matching and comparisons.

4. List all your planned expenses – Consumers should write a list of their expected expenses, including gifts, decorations, travel expenses and holiday parties. Listing everything will be useful for consumers to divide and set their budget successfully.

5. Make a gift list – It could be useful for consumers to write down everyone they plan on giving a gift to. In this list, consumers should set a price limit for each person, and separate some people as card-only recipients.

6. Stick to your gift list – Consumers should follow their list and not be swayed by store sales. It is useful to take advantage of a deal if the item is on the list, but don’t venture off the list and buy a gift just because it is on sale. Doing so can result in overspending.

7. Price check – Taking advantage of price matching could save consumers a few dollars. Consumers should check price matching policies at different stores to receive the best deal.

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 and student loan 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. 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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