KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The holidays are just about here. This year, expect to spend an average of $750, according to the National Retail Federation.
As you head into the season, it's key for you to take action and develop a strategy in order to avoid overspending.
Consumer credit counselors with Apprisen, a nonprofit credit counseling agency, provided Call For Action the following five tips on how to stay on track:
• Establish a holiday spending strategy. Figure out how much you can afford to spend. To do that, look back at how much you spent last year. This year, make it a goal to avoid overusing credit cards.
• Establish a budget. After you know how much you can afford to spend, figure out what parts of the holidays are important and designate money for those areas. For example, figure out how much you want to spend for gifts, food and decorations. If you are going over budget, you can take some funds out of a different expense to cover the amount.
• Cut back on everyday spending. Examine where you are spending your money today. Cut back on some of these things like daily lunches or that afternoon latte and put that money in a holiday spending account.
• Take advantage of coupons. Coupons can be a great way to save cash. Figure out how much you save with coupons and put that amount into your holiday savings account.
• Shop early. It's never too early to start buying the items that you are going to need. Look for the sales. Keep an itemized list of what you bought so you can refer back to it when needed.