Monday, October 26, 2009

Avoiding Holiday Debt


By: Karen Saley, Extension Specialist, Pinellas County Extension

I know it’s only October, but it’s not too early to start thinking about holiday gift-giving. As a matter-of-fact many financial experts advise holiday shopping all year long. That’s one way to stay within your budget and reduce holiday stress.

Everyone is feeling the money pinch these days and with the holidays just around the corner that pinch is going to hurt a lot more. Here are a few suggestions to help relieve the pain and let you enjoy the holidays a little bit more.

  • Send email greeting cards instead of spending money on paper cards and postage.
  • Ask your dinner guests to bring a dish and have a potluck holiday dinner. You’ll save money and time and everyone will get to sample some new dishes.
  • Create a holiday budget for gifts. Decide on a total dollar amount you are going to spend then determine how much you will spend on each individual. Remember to include the tax in your total.
  • Shop at discount outlets and closeout stores instead of the malls.
  • Create a coupon book. Coupons can be redeemed for things like cleaning duties, car washing, meal preparation, etc. Everyone likes a helping hand and it’s the gift that keeps giving all year long.
  • If you haven’t started shopping yet, get started. Look for those bargains and grab them while you can.
Keep in mind that the holidays are supposed to be about family and friends, being together and creating memories. Don’t get caught up in the spending trap and enjoy your holiday debt free.

Join us for our free Webinar “Reducing Financial Stress During the Holidays” on December 9, 2009. To register go to:

For more helpful hints on surviving the holiday season click on the links below.


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Company and product listings do not represent endorsement by either: Pinellas County Extension, Pinellas County or the University of Florida / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.