Fairfax, VA – July 21, 2014 – During the high heat of summer it is hard to remember that the winter holidays are only five short months away. The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies says that consumers should start their holiday planning now. Starting a holiday shopping plan or savings account now allows consumers to spread out the cost over a longer period of time without resorting to the use of credit.
AICCCA offers these tips to get started on holiday-in-July planning:
- Determine the amount of money you can spend. Whether you are planning to go ahead and begin shopping now or want to open a holiday saving account, you will need to decide upon the funds available for use. Plan to pay for all purchases, or put money away, with cash on hand. Avoid charging unless you can pay the balance due in 90 days or less.
- Follow Santa’s example and make a list. You’ll need to record every person you plan to shop for and assign a dollar amount to their gift. Check your list against the amount you decided you could spend to be sure they line up. Make any necessary adjustments before you start shopping.
- Keep your eyes out for bargains. Take advantage of any summertime trips to look for unique or unusual gifts for those on your list. Be sure to make a note of purchases and mark that person off of your list.
- Go online. Even if travel is not in your summer plans, you still have options. Ordering online now will enable you to avoid costly shipping fees. Many online retailers offer free standard shipping and have some great summer deals. You won’t get your items overnight, but you have the time to spare right now.
- Get crafty. Summer is a great time for crafts, for both children and adults. Put little hands to work on gifts for family members on a rainy day. Get started on your own craft projects now and you can cut down on last minute stitching, or other craft-related chores, come the holidays.
AICCCA cautions consumers to be prepared to change their plans as their circumstances change. Make a plan now, but be flexible. Revisit your plan regularly and make adjustments where necessary. If you need help, contact an AICCCA member at 866-703-8787.
AICCCA: Founded in 1993, Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies is a national membership organization established to promote quality and professional delivery of credit counseling services. AICCCA and its members are focused on financial education, efficient processes and advanced technology to best serve clients and creditors. AICCCA members are independent nonprofit agencies that advocate for debtors, annually counsel millions of consumers nationwide and provide debt management services to consumers with excessive unsecured debt. To contact an AICCCA member agency call (866) 703-TRUSTAICCCA (866-703-8787) or visit www.aiccca.org.