Monday, March 28, 2011

How To Avoid Overspending At Christmas

Well, the first quarter of the year 2011 is about to end and that means Christmas is closer than you think.  One of the ways you can prepare for Christmas is to start early and make a list.  The summer sales is a wonderful time to find items that you want to give but at a reduced price.

Below is an article from Forbes talking about how to curb your holiday spending.  I hope you enjoy.  Please don't procrastinate.  Christmas will be here before you know it!

The article below has several related articles that you can visit, so please go to the site.

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The best gift you can give your family is often sound finances for the new year.


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In Pictures: How To Avoid Overspending At Christmas


Unemployment is high this year, and savings accounts are low. But that won't stop Americans from filling shopping carts with gifts this Christmas. With shopping a firmly entrenched holiday tradition, the average American will spend an average $715 this season--even if for some it's spending they can ill afford.
Before you head out to Target , Best Buy , Nordstrom or your local mall this holiday season, give yourself a big gift: restraint.

The reason so many people fail to show it is the intense social pressure to go out and spend this time of year. Plus the legion of ways people justify overspending. That's according to Shawn Young, creator of Bootstraps Asset Building Education, an organization that uses elements of behavioral economics to teach average Americans how to better handle their finances.

In his previous career as a manager at Wal-Mart and Starbucks , Young, now 41, saw many colleagues become overwhelmed by financial troubles that it distracted them from their work. The stories led to Young developing an interest in financial education. In 2007 he moved to Louiseville, Colo., and founded Advocates for Young Adults, a nonprofit which has since been renamed Frontier Asset Building. It has five employees, a $300,000 budget and, says Young, helped 10,000 people in 2010 through its various programs.

One is a class on spending. In it, Young works primarily with people who have low and moderates incomes and are at risk of overspending in ways that can have devastating effects on their finances. If a student in one of his classes overspends at Christmas, that student might have trouble paying the January electric bill. People of greater means rationalize excessive spending in similar ways but generally face less devastating consequences, Young says.

Temptations are so great leading up to Christmas that some of Young's students this year suggested he offer a class addressing the season's shopping. While Young ponders the idea, he suggest others slow down while hitting the malls.

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