The holidays are approaching, and the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA) advises consumers to prepare early to avoid racking up holiday debt. Tips for debt-free holiday spending include coming up with a spending plan by budgeting based on what you spent this past year. You can start saving now by opening a holiday savings account. Figure out an amount you can put away each month until the holidays. Use Santa as an example and make a list.
Be sure to avoid straying from the list by adding additional people and more gifts, and keep your list with you at all times in case you find items while on vacation. When you are ready to shop, use only cash, checks, and debit cards. Avoid spending more in gas money and shop online: Look for free shipping and online specials. Finally, consider homemade and secondhand gifts as an alternative.