Give a Lasting Holiday Gift

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Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. Urges Consumers to Break the Holiday Overspending Cycle and Teach the Next Generation How To Stay in the Black with Financial Education.

Financial education starts at home. Showing our children how we spend within our means during the holiday season will go a long way toward helping future generations avoid financial problems

Every year thousands of American overspend during the holiday season, many adding to existing debt loads in the process. To help avoid the unfortunate consequences of spending beyond your means during the holidays Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. encourages families to teach by example and stay in the black this holiday season.

"Financial education starts at home. Showing our children how we spend within our means during the holiday season will go a long way toward helping future generations avoid financial problems," said Howard Dvorkin, CPA, author of Credit Hell: How to Dig Out of Debt, and Founder of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services.

To help, Consolidated Credit offers the following financial tips to help educate the next generation how to stay in the black with holiday expenses:

Examine all financial resources available for holiday generosity. The first rule to stay within your means is to determine the actual amount you can afford to spend on holiday expenses. Have all family members establish how much money they have to spend on gifts and other holiday necessities. Explain that many ways exist to express generosity other than purchasing holiday gifts. Offers to walk the dog or shovel the walk can be given in the form of coupons. Encourage your children to use their imaginations to come up with the perfect service that will long be remembered by friends and family.

Create a holiday spending plan. Teaching the importance of planning expenditures is an invaluable lesson. Map out how you will spend the money you have budgeted. Make sure to include all the holiday extras such as wrapping paper, food, tree trimmings and travel in your plan along with the amount for gifts.

Take a tip from Santa and make a shopping list. Together with your children sit down and prepare a shopping list of those for whom you would like to give a holiday gift. Next, try to decide what you would like to give each person on the list and assign a dollar amount. If you run out of money before you run out of holiday gift recipients, you have several choices to stay within your spending plan. You can spend less on each person on the list, remove some people from the gift list, or give some of the people on your list a holiday gift that does not require financial resources.

Comparison shop. Before you hit the stores or go online to buy, show your children how to research which stores or online retailers have the best price for the holiday gifts you need to purchase. Keep in mind that if a store is some distance from your home, you may lose the savings on a gift in the cost of gas to get you there.

Keep track of expenses and stick to your spending plan. Once you begin purchasing holiday gifts, keep track of your receipts and add up what you've spent as you go along. If you overspend on a particular gift, demonstrate how to go back and make adjustments to the amount you spend on a holiday gift(s) for others on the list.

Stay out of the stores and off line once you have completed your holiday shopping. The most important lesson you can share during the holiday shopping season is to stop when the shopping is completed. Remove yourself from situations that would provide any temptation to continue spending. Instead plan holiday activities that will illustrate how to spend your time resources. Try volunteering together at a local hospital or homeless shelter to show your children a great way to share the holiday spirit by giving a gift of time rather than money.

About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc. is an 15-year old company that assists families throughout the United States in ending financial hardships through education and professional counseling. For more information about Consolidated Credit Counseling Services, Inc., go to http://www.ConsolidatedCredit.org.

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