Holiday $pending

Salvation Army is putting up a tent to sell Christmas trees. The holiday season is upon us. The advertising has started already. And, the pressure will grow to buy a gift for someone. I can hear it, see it and feel it. Do you?

Oh yes, the credit card companies are sending special offers and checks to encourage you to spend more.

Do not give in to the pressure to spend more than you can afford. Set a budget for your holiday spending and keep to it. Decide now who gets a gift from you and how much to spend on each gift. Add the cost and see if you can afford it. If not, reduce who gets a gift or the amount. Do not borrow heavily for holiday spending! Only spend what you have and can afford. Paying off over spending creates stress and can ruin the New Year. If you borrow some money to spend, plan to pay it back in three to six months. That way you will have time to save for the next holiday spree.

At our credit union, many members have a Club Savings Account. They save each pay day for the next holiday season. This savings is the basis for their Holiday Spending. Go to your credit union or bank and open a Holiday Savings Account, start saving for 2014 now. But first, enjoy the 2013 Holiday Season with friends and family. Just don’t ruin it by spending more than you can afford.

Michael Raley may be reached at mraley@

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