4 tips for avoiding debt this holiday season

by Chris Hogan |

NASHVILLE (Christian Examiner) -- With the average consumer expected to spend more than $800 on gifts this year, it's important they have a plan for their money. Here are four tips from Chris Hogan, personal finance expert and speaker for Ramsey Solutions, for a debt-free holiday.

1) Plan it!

Nothing intentional happens without a plan. Make a list of the people you want to buy a gift for and set a spending limit for each person.

2) Budget it!

Tightening up the budget and cutting back on eating out and entertainment is a great way to "find" extra money, especially during the Christmas season when it's easy to go overboard with spending. Check out www.mychristmasbudget.comfor a free, easy online tool specifically designed to help you with holiday spending.

3) Pay Cash!

It's a proven fact that shoppers who use cash spend less and stick to planned spending limits. Once you've decided who you're buying for (in step 1) and how much you plan to spend, place that specific amount of cash in an envelope for each person. That makes it much more difficult to overspend.

4) Be Creative!

You don't have to spend a lot of cash to show someone you care about them. Cook a meal, make a homemade gift, or give them hand-made coupons for future babysitting or grass cutting.

*A popular and dynamic speaker on the topics of financial education and leadership, Chris Hogan also works with business and high-profile clients across the country helping them develop strategies to increase revenues, build wealth, and secure their financial futures. For more information about Chris visit www.chrishogan360.com or follow him on Twitter @ChrisHogan360.