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Is Your Holiday Budget Naughty or Nice?

Tips for keeping holiday spending under control

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 12/03/12 -- It's easy to get caught up in the spirit of giving and overspend during the holidays. The temptation to buy can be pretty tough on the wallet, and leave you with significant credit card debt to pay off in 2013. With a little planning, and following the tips on this infographic, the holidays can be nice on your budget this year.

"The holidays can create a great deal of stress and worry for those who over extend themselves and let their spending spiral out of control," says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. Setting a realistic budget, and looking at alternatives to material gifts can go a long way towards enjoying a joyful and stress free holiday season."

To help Canadians avoid the stress of Holiday debt, and keep their budgets on the nice list, Consolidated Credit offers these tips to keep spending under control:

Make a List & Check it Twice: Make a list of everyone you plan to purchases a gift for. After creating your list, give it another look and determine if you can eliminate anyone from this year's list.

Set a Budget and Stick to It: Now that you have a good idea of who you need to buy gifts for, set a realistic limit on how much you will spend on each person and stick to it.

Cash Is King: One of the best ways to stick to a budget is to pay cash for everything. Shopping with cash makes it difficult to overspend - and once it's gone, stop shopping.

Practice Safe Plastic - If it you must make purchases with credit, pay it off on time. The longer it takes to pay off the debt, the more interest accumulates. Use a credit card debt calculator to determine how long it will take to pay off the holiday balances.

Consolidate Credit Card Debt - If you see you will have a problem meeting your obligations and paying off the debt, don't wait to start struggling before you seek help. Contact a credit counselling agency to speak to a trained credit counsellor about your options for debt consolidation.

This holiday season can be different if you stick to these tips. To help Canadians avoid the stress of overspending and keep their budgets off the naughty list, the Holiday Survival Guide more merry ways to budget and save this season.

About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:

Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

Through unbiased debt-counselling services, assisting with consolidating payments, and providing consumer education, Consolidated Credit is dedicated to assisting individuals and families in ending financial crises and solving money management problems.

Consolidated Credit also offers a free online learning centre with a variety of tools to manage personal finances. Visit the site at www.consolidatedcredit.ca for free personal finance education booklets, financial calculators, resources, tips and suggestions. Also offered is a free iPhone and iPod application, "Budget Tool", which can be used to manage expenses on-the-go.

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