21 Tips for Wiser Holiday Spending
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"Ten Tips for Wiser Holiday Spending"
From the non-profit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)
RELEASE: December 2002 CONTACT: Paul S. Richard, ICFE Executive Director

San Diego, CA.  How can consumers develop resistance to seductive appeals to spend? It seems to be especially hard for some people not to be an over-spender during the holidays because of an emotional need to express love, appreciation and friendship," said Paul S. Richard - executive director of the nonprofit Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE), based in San Diego, CA. "By employing better spending techniques, however, people can help eliminate overspending and keep from getting overcharged with plastic this holiday season. Here are some useful spending tips and ideas for holiday shoppers from the ICFE," Richard said.


Create a written plan for holiday spending and gift giving a month or two in advance. Include possible gifts, dollar amounts and alternative choices.


Establish spending limits for gifts for each person on your list and start looking for bargains early.


If it has been a challenging year financially, you need to shrink your holiday gift list. Begin by talking with those you exchange gifts with and explain, perhaps suggesting not exchanging gifts or mutually observing much lower dollar-limits on gifts.


Separate shopping trips (when comparing prices, quality, value, etc.) from spending trips (when making a purchase), and resist taking cash, credit cards or a checkbook on the shopping trips.


Wait for those sales! Watch for and look over the advertising and sale flyers for items you intend to purchase.


Ask retailers when the items you are interested in buying are coming on sale. Most retailers will reveal sale dates because they don't want you to shop their competition.


Spend cash and avoid using credit cards. Charge cards tend to promote indiscriminate spending. Credit card users often say they had no idea how much they spent on the holidays until the credit card bills arrive in January or February of the next year.


Liquidators, buying clubs and factory outlet stores usually offer lower prices.  Bulk buying with other family members or friends can also yield savings.


Giving gifts to adults on New Year's Day is very special. You can really take advantage of all those after Christmas sales.


Make more of your gifts at home. A freshly baked loaf of bread, cookies, desserts, etc. are always appreciated. Also art, crafts, needle work or a collage of photographs.

"This holiday season try hard to manage your money so expenses don't exceed income. Everyday spending decisions, especially credit based ones, will have a far greater negative effect on one's financial future than any investment decision one is likely to ever make," Mr. Richard pointed out.

The ICFE has available online at: http://www.financial-education-icfe.org a Mending Spending / 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 "Mending Spending / 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

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: www.financial-education-icfe.org 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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