Holiday Shopping: The Last Minute Shoppers Guide

National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling offers tips on how to save money on last minute holiday shopping.

Boston, MA – December 18, 2015

Last Minute Holiday ShoppingBefore frantically heading out the door to do your last minute holiday shopping, take a breather and prepare for this last minute trip. Shopping in a panic can increase your risk of over spending. In an effort to spare the average consumer from unwanted holiday debt, American Consumer Credit Counseling has developed a guide to help shoppers in their last minute shopping frenzy.

“The holiday season tends to sneak up on shoppers, and it’s relatively easy for consumers to become overwhelmed and engage in a last minute spending spree,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is located in Newton, Mass. “As more consumers put off holiday shopping till the last minute, a plan that enables them to be strategic and prepared is even more critical. We’ve developed this guide to help prevent consumers from over-spending.”

According to the 2015 Cardlytics Holiday Retail Report, more American consumers are procrastinating when it comes to holiday shopping, which can lead to overspending. In 2014 consumers spent 12.2 percent more during the week prior to Christmas than during the same week in 2013.

In response to this increasing trend, American Consumer Credit Counseling created a last minute shoppers guide for consumers:

  1. Make a List – Create a targeted list of items you are looking for before heading to the store. Use the list as a guide to get you in and out of a store and decrease your chances of impulse buying.
  2. Create a Budget – In an ideal world you already set money aside for the holidays, but this is last minute shopping. Without a budget you fall into the risk of overspending.
  3. Shop Online – Shopping online can save time, money and gas. Online shopping can also decrease temptations.
  4. Go the Gift Card Route – If all the best items are sold out don’t buy something just to buy anything. Purchase a gift card in hopes so that the recipient has some flexibility, or with the hope that the item will be back in stock after the holiday season.
  5. Research – Before heading out the door, check your favorite stores’ websites to see what sales they may be offering.
  6. Be Aware of Extra Costs – Shipping costs can add up so it is important to be aware of them. Consider the pick-up in store option if there is a location relatively close.
  7. Homemade Gifts – Short on money? Consider making gifts for your friends and family. Check do-it-yourself sites or create a gifts basket filled with small items.

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

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 stabilityACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) and the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to or visit