WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) — As people make their way through their holiday shopping lists –and check them twice — they may find out that the cost of items on those lists could be a bit higher this year.
News 4 spoke to Noelle Carter, CEO of Parachute Credit Counseling (formerly known as Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc.) on how to get out of holiday debt, as well as ways shoppers can save this holiday season.
“At Parachute, we see that majority of people end up financing their holiday gifts, so it’s important for them to take a look at what debt they accumulated and create a plan to get out of that debt — sooner rather than later,” Carter said. “Come January they should make sure they are establishing a budget, try to reduce down household expenses, so they’re able to make more than the minimum payment.”
She says at their nonprofit organization, Parachute can help families who are facing financial insecurity and help them find ways out of debt, including providing tips to get through the extra financial stress the holidays bring.
According to Parachute, they see typically families spend $1,000 or more on the holiday season, but they say planning ahead for the holidays can help out in the long run.
“Start to plan ahead for the holidays by establishing how much you plan to spend come November, December,” Carter said. “If that maybe, on average, is $1,000, then all you need to do is save $20 a week.”
For some, it may be too late to plan and budget for this holiday season, with families facing financial insecurities, but Carter has some tips to help those families save this holiday season, too.
“First and foremost, it’s important to start a spending plan. Make sure you budget, no impulse buys,” she said. “Second, you can comparison buy. Often times, it seems like a great deal, but you may be able to find things cheaper somewhere else.”
She also suggested for bigger groups, such as entire families or friend groups, picking names for gifts, instead of everyone buying a gift for everyone else. She also suggested considering creating homemade gifts instead of shopping.
If you are facing financial insecurities, or would like help with handling your debt, call Parachute Credit Counseling at (716) 712-2060, or visit their website here for more information.