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