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Make a plan to stay out of debt on Black Friday

It's almost that time of year again: holiday shopping time. In fact, for many Floridians this Friday is the official kick off to gift buying. And while for some people credit card debt may already be a problem, for others this is the perfect time of year to make a plan to avoid future debt problems.

According to a recent study by Accenture, this year 44 percent of all Americans will go out shopping on Black Friday. And while the day is typically known for having good deals on some rather larger big ticket items, it's important to really think about what you want to buy that day, and not just make impulse purchases on a credit card for things you really can't pay off.

One debt relief specialist said the best thing to do is to sit down and really think about what you want to get everyone on your list this year. Along with what to buy, this will also give you an estimate of how much you plan on spending. Once that list is created, it's best to put it in your pocket -- or toss it in your purse -- and make sure to stick to that list on Black Friday, and all throughout the holiday shopping season.

Another thing to remember when going out shopping is that sometimes the most memorable experiences are the ones that are free: time spent together with family. Maybe it's going to a free choir service together? Or decorating a tree together? Whatever it is, just remember that not all parts of the holiday require you to spend money.

In the end, the take home message is that to avoid future debt problems, don't just charge on your credit cards what you cannot reasonable pay off.

Of course, for some this message might also be coming too late, as some still have lingering credit card debt from last year, or even already started shopping and spending above their means. In those situations, if you are aimed to be in the red due to the holidays, it's best to not struggle alone and at the very least look into what debt relief options and plans may be available to help you.

Source: CBS 5, "Stay Out Of Debt This Holiday Season," Travis Knudsen, Nov. 16, 2011

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James H. Monroe, P.A.
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