Don't Become a "Debt-head" for the Holidays!

Improve Spending Techniques, Avoid Using Credit Cards and Prevent Debt

San Diego, CA. There will be many temptations to spend using your credit cards this holiday season. Consumers however are warned not to become "debt-heads" by the Institute of Consumer Financial Education, (ICFE) a San Diego based nonprofit consumer group. A "debt-head" is a person who gets all charged up during the holidays and often ends up paying for this year's Christmas over the next two or three years.

Avoid using credit cards for holiday purchases because they have a message and that message is "spend" says the ICFE. Many consumers report that they spent more than fifty percent of what they had originally planned using credit cards for holiday gifts. The strong messages to spend often leads to indiscriminate credit-based spending decisions and committing future income not yet earned. This could make the holidays last for a year or longer, but without the celebrations.

To improve holiday spending techniques, try the following suggestions:
1. Plan ahead using a list noting gift suggestions and dollar limits.
2. Begin setting aside available dollars now for gift-giving.
3. Start looking early for bargains. Consider swap-meets, garage sales, etc.
4. Spend cash only. Avoid credit cards and writing a lot of checks.
5. Give gifts that don't cost out-of-pocket money (baby-sitting, car washes).
6. If you give money as a gift, a U. S. Savings bond costs half its face value.
7. Save on greeting cards and postage by only sending to out-of-towners.
8. Make gifts at home: baked goods, picture collages, or arts and crafts.
9. Place credit and debit cards in protective sleeves with a warning message.
10. Place warning labels on credit and debit cards as a reminder to spend cash.