Holiday debt frenzy

Tuesday, December 4th 2007, 10:34 am
By: News 9

By Amy McRee, NEWS 9

I did a little research online and found the average consumer will spend roughly $1,000 dollars on holiday gifts-which means my family is getting a little ripped off. I don't seem to hit that mark.

Whatever you spend, you have to be careful not to let the amounts you spend put you in a bind down the road. 

A lot of holiday shopping will start online. And online is exactly where you'll find a wealth of information on holiday spending and on how to avoid getting in trouble. supplied a list of 10-helpful tips. I'll give you what I thought were the top five.

Santa does it and so should you, make a list. Come up with a gift-giving list of who you want to buy for, and how much you want to spend.

Avoid frenzy spending and picking up Christmas bargains, because they're deals and not really something you need or something on your list.

Know your limits. Did you know overusing your credit cards can drop your credit score? Keep your balances below 35 percent of your total credit line.

Use cash. Withdraw the amount of money you need for a day of holiday spending instead of credit cards.

And lastly, focus on frugal. Some of the best gifts can cost you hardly anything like a jar of apple cider, or cocoa, or even a popcorn garland.

And if you're already in credit card debt, it's even more important for you to steer clear of using plastic. A lot of times people will get a new card and say they'll just pay it off at the first of the year. That kind of thinking ends up creating more debt-keeping you from living your life your way.

Originally Aired: 11-05-07