DALLAS (12/8/15)--It’s easy to want to spend more than you have during the holiday season. While a great present doesn’t always come with a high price tag, it’s naive to pretend participating in the holiday season isn’t expensive.
The average American, according to the National Retail Federation, will spend $805 this holiday season. Ideally, that money would come from savings, but for many people, it will mean going into debt.
But there’s debt and then there’s cataclysmic debt.
Writing in The Dallas Morning News, Julie Irwin, a professor of marketing at the University of Texas-Austin, noted that predatory lenders prey on the insecurities of cash-strapped families this time of year.
One loan website, Irwin stated, told people, “In the end you would not want your kids to know too much about your poor financial situation, especially when their friends are to get lovely gifts.”
People turn to payday loans because they’re quick, require no credit check, and they mean they don’t have to ask family or friends for money. That’s why they remain popular despite being a truly terrible deal for borrowers who end up paying astronomical interest rates and hidden fees, according to a 2013 series of studies by Pew Charitable Trusts (Credit.com Dec. 2.)
With finances causing so much stress at a time of year that’s supposed to be quiet--reserved for family and reflection--the best gift for many Americans this holiday season would be peace of mind.
Here are some realistic ways to achieve that:
For more information, read “Skipping Your Morning Coffee to Save Money Is Dumb Advice” in the Home & Family Resource Center.