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On Track - Holiday Gift Giving on a Budget
OnTrack - The CareOne Newsletter
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November 2007

Dear Friend,
It's getting to be that time of year when many of us exchange gifts with significant people in our lives, and because of that, the holiday season can wreak havoc on your budget. However, with a little bit of planning, time, and effort you can exchange thoughtful gifts with others without going into debt. In this edition of On Track, we'll look at some meaningful gift ideas that won't drain your wallet.
Holiday Gift Giving on a Budget

Quick Quote Trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list can be time consuming, frustrating, and expensive. Many people find that this experience causes them to overspend their holiday budget - assuming they were practical enough to set a budget limit in the first place. Unfortunately for some, the only budget limit they set is the limit on their credit cards and the holiday shopping only ends when this limit is reached. The holidays don't have to be a time to go into debt. With a little bit of planning, you can take advantage of some easy, low-cost ways to spread the holiday cheer this season.

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Financial Toolkit

Spending StatBlogs
You may have noticed a new feature added to www.careonecredit.com - Blogs! This is a regularly updated feature with helpful advice and commentary on timely financial matters regarding getting out of debt and getting ahead financially!

Check out the current blog about great ways to budget for the holidays. We encourage you to add your own thoughts, comments, and experiences regarding holiday budgeting, or the content of any future blogs. You can also read comments posted by other people interested in similar topics.
Ask an Expert

  HELP! I need to know how I can correct my spending habits. I am one of those people who spend money I don't have when I am stressed. The problem is that I am nearly always stressed. I have 3 kids, a full-time job and am a full-time student. Is the problem that I am looking at the overwhelming BIG picture and not handling each bill individually? I don't know where to start.

- Phenamina

  Hi Phenamina and Welcome to your new family.

What an excellent question. Thank you for adding to the board!!

You hit the nail on head when you stated that you are overwhelmed. You have a lot on your plate right now and we need to take a giant leap back and then move forward with baby steps. Look at the other comments on Lowering Expenses, Life Stages and Tackling your debt. That will give you some insight into how some others are handling the stress. First, you want to pay yourself first out of every paycheck. Not just for fun money but for emergency cash on hand so that you don't use a credit card. Think about what may come up...car breaks down, heater needs to be repaired, dog needs emergency vet, extra school expenses, extended illness. You get the picture.

We do have a fabulous Budget program that you can do at home in your spare time (LOL). Give me a call so that we can go over this with you. I am available Monday through Thursday and Saturday 9:00-6:00 EST. 800-437-3336 x-6147

I look forward to talking to you some more. Take a deep breath and we'll get you through this.

Thank you for posting,

Ann Felter
Senior Financial Fitness Coach
Certified Credit Counselor
1-800-227-3123 ext 6147

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Tip JarTip Jar -
Skip the Greeting Card. Freedom to Put More Money into the Gift - With greeting cards running $2 to $6 these days, you are better off skipping the card and putting that money into your gift. You can always make a card out of your gift wrap or if you are crafty, you can make cards on the computer or with other craft materials. The point of this Pointer: Don't waste your money on a store bought card that will only be discarded quickly. Make your own and put the money saved into the gift.
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See what last month's winner, Melissa F., from Port Saint Lucie, FL does to keep her stress level down while working to get out of debt.
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