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Consumer Credit Counseling Service offers holiday shopping tips

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Mon, Dec 3rd 2018 12:30 pm
Guest editorial by Consumer Credit Counseling Service
The average American plans to spend $600 on holiday gifts in 2018 according to a survey of 2,028 American consumers conducted by Decluttr. The survey revealed 25 percent of respondents will go into debt due to holiday spending.
This happens all too often. With the holiday season in full swing, many of us find it easier to stop living within our budgets and assume we will magically figure out how to pay for things when the credit card bills come in January. Many Americans fall into this all too easy trap, so Consumer Credit Counseling Service is sharing some last minute holiday shopping tips to keep consumers free of debt stress.
•Consumers should consider creative gift-giving and gifts that have a personal touch, such as homemade gifts like cookies, candies or other prepared foods. Consumers can also consider making a fruit basket, which is both economical and healthy, or a personal gift certificate good for babysitting, washing the car, running errands or cooking a meal.
•Consumers can make a shopping list with a spending limit and pay with cash. A realistic budget is essential for keeping spending under control. Paying with cash when possible and leaving one's checkbook and credit cards at home can help avoid temptations for unplanned and unnecessary purchases.
•Consumers should keep track of their spending. Tally the receipts from all holiday expenses, including gifts, postage, meals, entertainment and decorations. Once a consumer has completed their shopping list, they should stop shopping. More mall time can amount to more spending. Those who have kept to their budgets will start the year with less debt and less stress.
Even those with the best of intentions may end the holiday shopping season with more debt than they planned. Consumer Credit Counseling Service has trained and certified credit counselors who offer a range of financial management and debt-reduction services. We encourage anyone to make an appointment with us and start the new year with a clean financial slate. For more information on our various financial counseling services - or to set up an appointment - visit www.consumercreditbuffalo.org or call 716-712-2060.
Happy holidays to all!
About CCCS
CCCS is a nonprofit, full-service credit-counseling agency, providing confidential financial guidance, financial education, counseling and credit repayment assistance to consumers. CCCS of Buffalo helps consumers trim expenses, develop a spending plan and repay debts. Counseling is available at our main office in West Seneca, in one of our satellite offices, by telephone and via internet. Visit www.consumercreditbuffalo.org for more information.

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