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How to avoid holiday debt: Planning ahead can mean less stress

Posted at 11:45 AM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-05 14:38:31-05

The holidays are a time of shopping and giving, and too often that means going into debt. Denver financial education expert Rachel Namoff said the average American will spend $1,000 over their budget for the holidays. Often that's because there was no budget to begin with.

"I think we all want to give and what happens is we over-give and that can create a debt scenario," said Namoff.

She said she suggests following a few steps to avoid holiday debt. First, make a plan. Look at how much you spent last year, and your current financial situation.

Second, be thoughtful about the gifts you are buying and avoid impulse purchases. Namoff said you can make a list of people you want to purchase a gift for, and then giving homemade items to the rest. She said you should consider if the gift is something they really want or need.

Finally, start earlier next year. Set aside money throughout the year to be spent during the holidays.

"If you can take $20 dollars a week from your income and put it aside, well there’s your $1,000 right there," she said.