Don't Become a "Debt-head" for the Holidays!
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"Don't Become a "Debt-head" for the Holidays!"
Improve Your Spending Techniques, Avoid Using Credit Cards and Prevent Debt

From the non-profit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

RELEASE: December 2002 CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA. There will be many temptations to spend using your credit cards this holiday season. Consumers however are warned not to become "debt-heads" by the Institute of Consumer Financial Education, (ICFE) a San Diego based non-profit consumer group.

A "debt-head" is a person who gets all charged up during the holidays and often ends up paying for this year's Christmas over the next two or three years.

Avoid using credit cards for holiday purchases because they have a message and that message is "spend!" says the ICFE. Many consumers report that they spent more than fifty percent of what they had originally planned using credit cards for holiday gifts. The strong messages to spend often leads to indiscriminate credit-based spending decisions and committing future income not yet earned. This could make the holidays last for a year or longer, but without the celebrations.

To improve holiday spending techniques, try the following suggestions:


Plan ahead using a list noting gift suggestions and dollar limits.


Begin setting aside available dollars now for gift-giving.


Start looking early for bargains. Consider swap meets, garage sales, etc.


Spend cash only. Avoid credit cards and writing a lot of checks.


Give gifts that don't cost out-of-pocket money (baby-sitting, car washes).


If you give money as a gift, a U. S. Savings bond costs half its face value.


Save on greeting cards and postage by only sending to out-of-towners.


Make gifts at home: baked goods, picture collages, arts and crafts.

It is easy to over-spend, especially during the holidays, and research shows that 30 cents of every take-home dollar goes for household and grocery items.

The ICFE has available online at: a MONEY HELPS section.

To get the packet by mail, please send $1 plus a Self Addressed, Stamped 60 cents Envelope (SASE) to:

ICFE Money Helps
PO Box 34070
San Diego, CA 92163-4070

The "Money Helps" Packet  includes:

(1) "ICFE Spender's Profile" which helps people identify dangerous spending habits"
(2) "15 steps to improve spending"
(3) "How to spend smarter for household and grocery items"
(4) "How to set up and implement a spending-plan";
         (plus a budget worksheet) for personal and/or family finances
(5) "Dealing with creditors"
(6) "Steps to take to reduce indebtedness" and more

Holiday Spending Tips Navigation
ICFE's Financial Education Gift Hot List for 2008
A Christmas Story - 'Twas a Few Days After Christmas
Financial Education Books for Youngsters Worthwhile
Financial Education Videos & Software For Youngsters Make Useful Holiday Gifts!
Financial Education Gifts For Adults ages 18-99!
Ten Holiday Spending Tips for 2008
21 Tips for Wiser Holiday Spending
20 Ways To Spend Less on Groceries For Holidays!
Don't Become a "Debt-head" for the Holidays!

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton - creator of the "certified financial planner” (CFP) designation - is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. The years between 1984 and 2000, the ICFE was also known as the National Center for Financial Education (NCFE).

The ICFE is a nonprofit consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. Over one million "Credit / Debit Card Warning Labels” and "Credit / Debit Card Sleeves” are in circulation world wide.

The ICFE's on-line help for consumers who spend too much was featured in PARADE Magazine (June 9th, 2002) in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the "Money Instruction Book," a course in personal finance, which was completely revised and updated in 2002 and is positioned to become among the premier programs in the new bankruptcy and debtor education initiatives.

The ICFE's "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide," now in its Twelfth Printing, is in use by thousands of consumer credit and debt counselors in addition to tens of thousands of consumers. It received a "buy” rating in July, August and November from nationally syndicated financial columnist, Humberto Cruz in his column, "The Savings Game". BottomLine Personal newsletter gave the Guide a "Send For” rating in September 2001. The ICFE and our do-it-yourself approach to credit file correction was featured on NBC Nightly News on 04-30-02. The Spanish edition of the Guide premiered in January 2002. Syndicated columnist, Robert Heady also gave the ICFE Guide a "buy” rating.

The ICFE Web site at: helps consumers with mending spending, learn about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also access financial education courses and videos and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include a free eNews, and an on-line resource center of financial education learning tools, including videos, books and personal finance courses.

Consumers may learn more on the Internet about the "Do-It-Yourself Credit File Correction Guide" here, or fill out our request form, indicating your areas of interest.

For more information contact Paul S. Richard ICFE Executive Director at 619-239-1401.
ICFE Provides Financial Education, Continuing Education Credits, CEUs, CEs, Free Credit Repair, Bankruptcy Education and Financial Planning for All Age Groups.
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ICFE Provides Financial Education, Continuing Education Credits, CEUs, CEs, Free Credit Repair, Bankruptcy Education and Financial Planning for All Age Groups.
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