Take Charge America Shares Tips for Saving Big Money During the Holidays

Nonprofit credit counseling agency helps consumers keep finances in
check during high-cost holiday season

PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)–It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and it’s also the most
costly. Consumers often overspend during the holidays, and while most
people intend to pay off holiday debt in January, it’s much easier said
than done. It’s not uncommon for debt to linger months after the
presents are unwrapped.

“The hysteria of the holidays can impact even the most frugal among us,”
said Mike Sullivan, spokesperson, Take Charge America, a national
nonprofit credit counseling and debt management agency
. “The
holidays are a time for making memories with friends and family – but
you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the season.
Conscientious giving, combined with willpower and creativity, will make
a huge difference for people trying to keep their costs in check.”

Sullivan offers five tips for saving money during the holidays:

  1. Make a list, and check it twice: Holiday giving is a big
    expense, and it’s hard to stick to a budget if you’re scrambling to
    find gifts at the last minute. Determine the right present for each
    person on your list ahead of time, and avoid the frantic overspending
    resulting from poor planning.
  2. Join the DIY movement: Do-it-yourself projects are all the
    rage. If you have the time and inclination, consider making gifts for
    loved ones. For grandparents, this could mean framing a child’s
    artwork, while coworkers might enjoy a hand-stamped mug and homemade
    hot cocoa. It’s an opportunity to give a fun and meaningful present
    without spending a fortune.
  3. Make a “batteries-not-included” fund: It’s often the little
    things that blow the budget – like buying batteries for toys and
    electronics, picking up last-minute accouterments for a holiday party
    or buying a gift for a neighbor you accidentally left off your list.
    No amount of planning will help you avoid these expenses altogether,
    so set aside a slush fund to cover the costs.
  4. Draw names: As families grow, so do expenses, and this is
    especially true over the holidays. Instead of purchasing gifts for
    every last niece, nephew and cousin, draw names and find the perfect
    present for just one person. You will be less stressed – financially
    and otherwise – and so will the rest of your family.
  5. Be careful how much you’re “saving”: It’s simple to justify
    purchases when every last retailer is offering holiday discounts – and
    it’s easy to get swept up in the fun and excitement of scoring good
    deals – but you’re not really saving money when you buy things you
    don’t really need or even want. Second-guess every unplanned purchase
    to root out and avoid unwise spending.

For more financial tips, visit the Take
Charge America Financial Education Library

About Take Charge America, Inc.

Founded in 1987, Take Charge America, Inc. is a nonprofit agency
offering financial education and counseling services, including credit
counseling, debt management, student loan counseling, housing counseling
and bankruptcy counseling. It has helped more than 1.6 million consumers
nationwide manage their personal finances and debts. To learn more,
visit www.takechargeamerica.org
or call (888) 822-9193.


Aker Ink
Andrea Aker, 602-339-7339