The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 20, 2012

Tips to avoid holiday debt

NORMAN — It seems advertisements promoting “Black Friday” specials and “Small Business Saturday” begin earlier each year. The early prompts may be a sign the economy is not as weak as first envisioned.

Retailers expect holiday sales to rise 4.1 percent to more than $586 billion this year.

Economists say the average shopper is expected to spend nearly $750 in November and December. That may take them months to pay off and will add to the nation’s $600 billion credit card debt. The Associated Press offered some tips for taking it slow:

· Make a plan and a budget that will be followed. This will help you avoid impulse purchases once you get inside the store.

· Keep the use of credit cards to a minimum and avoid those checks that arrive with the November and December statements. Those often come with interest rates much higher than your regular card rate.

· Be wary of opening a new card just to get a special deal.

· Find a creative way to give gifts. A gift card with something homemade can be a nice surprise.

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