Toronto, December 1: Many people often wonder how they can keep on top and not get buried under the avalanche of spending during the holiday season. For some the thought of not buying gifts for their friends and loved ones doesn’t make for much of a happy holiday season.
“There are many ways to give gifts without going overboard with holiday spending or losing the true spirit of the season,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada. “Buyer’s remorse is not the best way to start off the New Year; we want to help Canadians do their best to avoid this situation.”
Kim Thornton, a recent Alumnus of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada’s program, shares her holiday spending strategy. “I budget an amount per person and then stick to it. I love that I can do it all without a credit card!” says Kim. Thornton wants to inspire others not to bury themselves with credit card debt this holiday season.
Between now and December 24th consumers will be inundated with ideas on how to spend their money. Consolidated Credit has a few suggestions about gift giving this season:
- Don’t buy what you can’t afford – paying for your holiday purchases on your credit card seems convenient and easy at the time. Once the monthly statements arrive and you are unable to make the minimum payments what will your plan be then?
- Cash in your ‘reward’ points – check out the offerings from the loyalty programs you subscribe to and use the points you have accumulated to purchase gift cards or gifts from their catalogues.
- Be frugal not foolish – Do your research before buying gifts. Today, with having the ability to shop on-line, it is easy to make price comparisons before making the actual purchase.
- Start new traditions – Focus on friends and family by giving them quality time with you as volunteers at a local shelter or food bank rather than giving a quantity of gifts.
- Goodwill toward men and women will go a long way if you decide to give a donation to a favourite charity in honour of your family and friends rather than spending the money on gifts.