Family Finance: How to avoid overspending during the holidays - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Family Finance: How to avoid overspending during the holidays

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

Christmas is less than 20 days away, and if you're worried about overspending there's a few simple steps you can take to keep your head above water.

The experts at About.com say it is crucial to put down the credit card. It's easier to overspend when you pay with plastic, so try and save up to pay with cash or a debit card. Next, make a list with a budget. Have an idea of what you plan to buy, how much you can spend, and who you plan to shop for. Also, don't forget the internet. Cyber Monday may be long over but you can still find plenty of deals and coupons online. Plus, shopping online prevents impulse buys that you might make in a store.

Shelly Phillips, a mother of four, gets through the holidays by paying in cash and letting her children know up front that they might not get every gift they wish for.

"We really try not to do credit, just go ahead and pay for it now so you don't get caught up in those extra fees and finance charges and the late charges. I really just try to buy the things that I've heard
them say over and over again that they really like, but we try to instill in them that you can't get everything," she said.

If you have to use a credit card, try not to max it out on purchases that could take a year or more to pay off.

For more advice on the biggest holiday credit card mistakes click here.

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