Magazine article USA TODAY

Ease the Pressure of Frenzied Purchases

Magazine article USA TODAY

Ease the Pressure of Frenzied Purchases

Article excerpt

This year, Credit Counselors, Richmond, Va., is giving its holiday gift a bit early--tips designed to help ease the pressure of holiday spending, so families can enjoy a very merry season.

Create a holiday budget. Make lists of gifts, decorations, and food items you need to buy. Be sure to include all holiday expenses, such as cards, postage, and gift wrap. Set limits on the how much you plan to spend. Create columns to track the amount you actually spent and the manner in which each item was paid for (cash or credit).

Plan when to shop. Running around on lunch hours and evenings after work, or shopping with young children, is exhausting and can be unproductive. Arrange to trade babysitting with a friend or take a day off to shop. Go early in the day, when malls are less crowded. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday often are the best times to avoid mob scenes. …

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