Start Saving Now for Holiday Spending: ACCC Offers Ways Consumers can Avoid the Holiday Debt Hangover
Despite scorching temperatures, national financial literacy American Consumer Credit Counseling advises consumers to start saving now for holiday expenses.
(Boston, MA) – July 23, 2014 — The summer season is in full swing, the weather is warm and the last thing on consumers’ minds are the winter holidays. However, with Black Friday and holiday shopping less than four months away, holiday expenses will be here before we know it. Year after year, November and December are the highest months for consumer spending, and expected spending continues to grow. Last year alone, consumers spent a total of $602 billion a 3.8 percent increase from the prior year Despite this, many consumers do not adjust budgets accordingly, creating a holiday debt hangover come the New Year. This year, consumers can avoid the headache of the post-holiday bill by beginning to save for the holidays during the summer months.
“Winter holidays are the most expensive time of year for consumers,” stated Steven Trumble, President and CEO of ACCC. “Although we are still enjoying the warm weather, it is smart to be thinking about future spending habits and how to accommodate for the inevitable increase in spending in November and December. Saving and budgeting now can help relieve holiday stress later.”
According to the National Retail Federation Foundation, in 2013 consumers spent an average of $730 on holiday gifts, food and decorations, at least $500 more than they did on any other holiday during throughout the year.
There are many ways consumers can start saving for holiday spending while still enjoying the summer months. ACCC provides five essential tips on how to make small changes now to avoid breaking the bank this holiday season:
- Open a “Holiday” Account – Many banks have a “Christmas Club” account intended to help people save for the holidays. Consumers can start putting money each month into the account, and the bank only allows you to withdraw money from the account on a certain date so you are not tempted to take out money prior to the holidays.
- Save for a Goal – ACCC’s Saving for a Goal financial calculator can help you determine how much you will need to save on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis to save a certain amount for holiday spending. That way you can start putting money aside now for holiday expenses.
- Start Shopping Now – Plan your gifts ahead of time for people and buy them before the holiday rush. Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals may seem great, many retailers are having the same sales now and during Labor Day allowing you to spread your shopping expenses out.
- Holiday Budget – Creating a holiday budget now can help you stay on track from now until December. When budgeting, consider if you will be hosting a party, how many gifts you will be buying, or how many parties you usually attend. ACCC provides both a holiday budget worksheet and a holiday shopping checklist.
- Credit Card Points – If you use a credit card with reward points throughout the year, keep track of your points and use them for gifts or gift cards during the holidays.
ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization, that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:
- For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
- For bankruptcy counseling. call 866-826-6924
- For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
- Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management and debt relief through education, credit counseling, and debt management solutions. ACCC provides individuals with practical debt solutions for solving financial problems and recognizes that consumers’ financial difficulties are often not the result of poor spending habits, but more frequently from extenuating circumstances beyond their control. As one of the nation’s leading providers of financial education and credit counseling services, ACCC’s certified credit advisors work with consumers to help them determine the best plan of action to get out of debt and regain financial stability. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit TalkingCentsBlog.com.