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How To Avoid Overspending During The Thanksgiving Holiday

InCharge Debt Solutions offers tips on how to stay on budget for Turkey Day

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Once every year, many Americans overcook, overeat, and overspend in order to ensure that family and friends have a fabulous Thanksgiving.  InCharge Debt Solutions ("InCharge") urges everyone to use moderation and common sense this year so you don't break the budget in order to enjoy the celebration.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120731/DC49521LOGO )

"Many American holidays have 'matured' into celebrations that include expensive decorations and lavish meals," said Etta Money, InCharge's president.  "Your friends at InCharge want to stress that what's important during Thanksgiving is not overspending to impress, but spending time with those you love.  That's why we have compiled our best tips, a list of great online tools, and even some smart phone apps you can use to avoid overspending this year."

Here are five tips to follow so your Thanksgiving is fun, but not expensive:

1 – Don't go in cold turkey – plan a realistic budget well in advance, one that considers what you can really afford to spend on the holiday (in cash), not what you'd "like" to spend.

2 – Think like a Pilgrim – the fairytale version of early Thanksgivings included a focus on saying thank you, and not trying to impress those in attendance, so be modest and frugal.

3 – Remember the trimmings – not the stuffing, the decorations!  Don't buy them, make them!  Look online and you'll find easy-to-make, inexpensive ways to decorate your home and table.

4 – Ask everyone to give thanks – ask family and friends to bring a prepared dish, dessert or the wine, and build those items into your budgeting and planning.

5 – Involve the natives – invite your children, or some who may be attending, to prepare decorations, easy-to-make snacks, or lead after-dinner games rather than spend on entertainment.

Here are a few online tools you can use to plan a budget for Thanksgiving this year:

Turkey dinner calculator - http://www.csgnetwork.com/turkeydinnercalc.html

Thanksgiving budget - http://www.instructables.com/image/FQYGX8YQ5ZEUR4U565

Home budget calculator - http://www.incharge.org/money-101/news/home-budget-calculator-incharge-debt-solutions

We also found a fabulous article that lists the best smart phone apps to help you plan and be "intelligent" with your money this Thanksgiving (it was done in 2011, but it has some great app suggestions for 2012):

http://www.mainstreet.com/slideshow/smart-spending/technology/best-apps-thanksgiving-2011

" Thanksgiving doesn't have to be expensive and you can have a great time while not going overboard," said Ms. Money.  "If we focus on the 'thanks' and the 'giving' of the season, November 22, 2012 will be less about how much we spend to impress and more about how we enjoy our families, friends and faith."

InCharge Debt Solutions provides an array of certified counseling services including an alternative to debt consolidation that allows consumers to consolidate credit card bills into one monthly payment, pay debt off faster, lower interest rates regardless of credit score, stop collection calls, eliminate late fees and build a budget and financial plan to follow:

  • Credit Counseling:  Certified credit counselors give free, confidential counseling (online or by phone) and offer an alternative to debt consolidation through debt management programs and free budgeting assistance.  Call 877-486-4924.
  • Bankruptcy Education and Counseling: Take required pre-filing and pre-discharge courses and receive counseling from certified staff.  Call 866-729-0049.
  • Housing Counseling Services:  Get help with HUD-approved foreclosure prevention, first-time homebuyer education and free counseling.  Call 877-251-1882.
  • Servicemember Help:  Specialized help for military families facing financial difficulty.  Call 877-258-9549.
  • Online Counseling:  Free, comprehensive web counseling provides budget building tool, analysis and available solutions from your computer.  Visit:  www.incharge.org.

About InCharge ® Debt Solutions

Founded in 1997, InCharge® Debt Solutions is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-service organization offering confidential and professional credit counseling, housing counseling, debt management, bankruptcy education and general financial education to individuals seeking options to manage credit card debt and consolidate debt payment.  The company, accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), interacted with over 1.1 million consumers in 2011. InCharge is affiliated with InCharge® Education Foundation, Inc. (ICEF) which is dedicated to providing educational products, services and research supporting the personal financial literacy of consumers across America.  ICEF also provides financial literacy training to servicemembers and their families through MilitaryMoney.com.

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