You may know people who are still paying off last year’s Christmas gift-buying bills! Here are the ‘top 3 tips’ on how to make it through this season without being a slave to Visa or credit card.


1. Budget and don’t budge. Figure out exactly how much you can afford to drop on presents without jeopardizing your regular bills. Then, siphon off a little money from each paycheck for the next six weeks so you aren’t dipping into your emergency savings or relying on credit to play Secret Santa.

2. Skip Black Friday. The day after Thanksgiving is the gateway to holiday spending sprees. Though you may find some deals, retailers have a dirty little secret: “For a limited time only” or “While supplies last” promotions are classic ways to trick you into buying things you don’t need by making you think they’re about to sell out.

3. Buy virtually. Shoppers are willing to pay about 50 percent more for stuff they can actually touch so the free samples and product demos stores offer during the holidays can put a wrench in your spending plan. Try to stick to the Internet.

How do you plan on doing things this Christmas so that you aren’t a slave to credit card companies?


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