Avoid Holiday Debt! - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Avoid Holiday Debt!

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    Avoid Holiday Debt!
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    Holiday shopping does not have to equal holiday debt if you shop smart.

    For many shoppers the holiday season equals holiday debt, but with these simple tips you can avoid a financial hang-over.

    Let’s face it, even though the economy is bad, it’s the holiday season and your wallets are wide open.

    It’s easy to get caught-up in the holiday spirit of spending!

    The problem is, once the holidays are over you're left with a holiday debt hangover!

    The good news is there are many ways to avoid holiday debt.

    One of the first ways… think like a “Recessionista.”

    Recessionista is someone who likes to look good, very fashionable but they're also budget conscious.

    And they only shop where the deals are!

    Money Coach, Lynnette Khalfani says to be a great Recessionista, avoid high-end retailers and stick with more affordable stores--a sure way to stretch your dollar further and do less damage to your credit card.

    Another helpful tip to avoid holiday debt: Consider layaway!

    Instead of plunking down a credit card and charging something and getting charged interest on top of that, you make payments in intervals.

    If you're the shy type and don't want to be caught in a layaway line, no problem!
     
    Check out e-layaway.com --you'll find online layaway deals from more than a thousand merchants.

    That’s a great way to save money and time. Don't have to drive to the store. You can shop online. 

    Perhaps the most effective way to avoid holiday debt-- Khalfani says don't leave the house without 2 things: a budget and a buddy.

    The budget is your pre-determined list that has how much you can afford to spend in cash without whipping out the visa or MasterCard.

    If you do end up using credit instead of cash, set a budget on your credit card too and come up with a set amount that you can pay off in 2 or 3 months max.

    The buddy’s job is to come along with you and keep you honest. She's the girlfriend who's going to say ok you've hit your limit.

    One of the biggest problems with holiday debt, Khalfani says people often get into debt buying gifts for themselves--not just for others!

    “This is where you see something, all of a sudden you're hot and heavy for it, but you haven't budgeted for it you didn't plan to buy it.”

    So how do you resist that urge to splurge? Khalfani's holiday debt tip… try the 24-hour rule!

    Instead of just snatching up the item and going to pay for it, perhaps with a credit card. You're going to simply walk away. Give yourself 24 hours to cool off.