Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas shopping? Leave the card at home -

Dec. 05 --TRIAD -- It's time again to spread holiday cheer, and hopefully not go broke doing it. According to the National Retail Federation , the average consumer spent $752 in 2012 during the holidays. This amount includes gifts for family, friends and coworkers, decorations, food and candy, and holiday cards. So how do you stop yourself from blowing the bank during the holidays? Susan animated christmas cards online , executive vice president of retail banking with High Point Bank and Trust , suggests that consumers start planning and putting money aside early. "You should open an account that is designated for holiday spending or special occasions like vacation," Apple said. "You should do an automatic transfer into the account throughout the year. If you don't see it, you don't think about it much of the time." Apple said a lot of banks offer incentives or match the funds that you save in that account. If you still have not finished your holiday shopping, Apple warns consumers to be aware of how much they are spending. She said consumers should steer clear of the credit cards. "The credit card bills come in January and are overwhelming a lot of the times," Apple said. "You create balances that are hard to pay off." Apple encourages consumers to lock up their credit cards or leave them at home. She said it will cut down on buyer's remorse and credit card payments. "For some reason, spending cash feels more like 'spending' than pulling out the plastic," Apple said. "It is almost psychological. If you have cash, and you know that is all the cash you have to spend for that day, you are not going to go over that amount of cash." Apple also suggests thinking of creative ways to give if consumers don't have the money to spend. "Do something that is not expensive," Apple said. "Think about what those people like and enjoy and make them meaningful gifts. It is inexpensive but full of thought." -- 888-3657 Holiday Shopping Tips - --Make your decisions before shopping. --Set a limit. --If you lack discipline, leave the credit cards at home. Bring cash instead. --Shop for bargains. Do the research to get the best price. --Watch the need to impulse shop. --Give yourself a present by saving for next year. Open up an account specifically for Christmas savings. ___ (c)2013 The High Point Enterprise (High Point, N.C.) Visit The High Point Enterprise (High Point, N.C.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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