How to stay out of debt for the holidays - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

How to stay out of debt for the holidays

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

A new year means new beginnings for some people, but it could also mean new debt for others.

During the holidays, people tend to spend a lot of money without thinking of the consequences.

Murray Solomon is the branch manager of Raymond James Financial Services and said, "Just try to keep in mind that come January or February we're going to get a credit card bill."

When using a credit card, interest will most likely follow. If you must use a credit card look for rewards and cash back offers.

Solomon explained another way to trim down holiday debt is to give gifts of the heart.

"If you have a hobby art and things like pottery or pictures you might make some homemade gifts," said Solomon.

If you haven't started your shopping yet or are finishing up, making a list helps too.

He said, "There are folks who actually set aside a budget for Christmas shopping and they stay pretty close to that budget, but most of us don't."

If you are one of those people who like to veer off the list, start early for next year to stay out of debt.  Solomon commented, "You should start saving as soon as possible, at the beginning of the year setting a little money aside on a regular basis."

He also said don't wait for Black Friday to buy all of your presents, instead, shop in the off season for bargains.

For travelers, remember to negotiate with hotels. Solomon said companies have been doing well with corporate earnings this year, but competition is still out there so if you haggle most hotels will go down in price.


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