BBB Offers Holiday Budgeting Advice

November 23, 2012

As the holiday shopping season gets underway, experts are also reminding people to watch out for unintended holiday debt.

According to the National Retail Federation, American shoppers will spend just under $750 on average on holiday purchases this year.

With that in mind, the Better Business Bureau is offering a number of tips to help people manage expenses and stay clear of unwanted debt.

Northeast Georgia Better Business Bureau President Fred Elsberry said the first thing to keep in mind is to make a list.

However, he said that list should include more than just those you are buying gifts for.

“Think about the other things you are going to have to do,” said Elsberry. “You are going to have to be doing extra entertaining. You are probably going to have to do some extra decorating and those type of things and all of that should be part of what you expect to spend during the holiday season. Make that list and check it twice. Make sure you have all of your people on it and know exactly how much you are going to spend.”

Elsberry went on to say that shoppers need to make sure to do their research.

“Many retailers are offering a lot deals, particularly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so there will be a lot of good deals,” said Elsberry. “But it will also be a good time to comparison shop. Even though you think it is a good deal, make sure you have some idea as to what it ought to be before you do it.”

He also said once that is done, shoppers should plan their purchases accordingly.

For more advice, go to www.bbb.org.

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