Giving Till It Hurts
Once that holiday spirit of giving starts working overtime, it’s easy to lose track of money.
“Before you know it, it’s January and you realize you’ve spent two or three times more than you should have,” says KeyBank senior vice president of retail banking Todd Hays.
He recommends establishing a holiday budget that includes a list of gift recipients, a spending limit for each and — often forgotten — a list of other holiday expenditures. “People forget about travel expenses, entertainment, wrapping paper, shipping costs, postage, greeting cards ... that all adds up,” says Hays. Then, start setting aside money nowto minimize holiday debt.
“If debt is unavoidable, establish a payment plan for yourself before you start shopping and aim for a maximum of 90 days to pay off those holiday expenses,” Hays suggests. Also, keep receipts in one spot so you can easily compare what you’ve spent to your budget.
12:00 AM EST
September 26, 2008