Creating a budget for the holidays and implementing cost-saving practices, such as cash only spending, will help financially strapped consumers enjoy the season without worrying too much about finances.
In order to help consumers with their holiday spending, national nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling is providing five reasons why consumers should consider making cash purchases during the holidays.
“Keeping to a single form of payment will help consumers stay within their budget during the holiday season,” says Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “If consumers withdraw cash in the amount they want to spend for the holidays they will be more conscientious of their purchases.”
According to the National Retail Federation, American consumers are projected to spend an average of $936 during the 2016 holiday season. Personal spending is also projected to increase this year with six out of 10 consumers planning on spending an average of $140 on themselves. Sales in November and December are expected to increase 3.6 percent with retailers bringing in a combined $655.8 billion.
American Consumer Credit Counseling provides consumers with examples of why using a cash only approach to the holidays will help with budgeting:
1. More Mindful Spending – Start by making a budget for all of your holiday expenses and decide where you will make the purchases. Before each shopping trip withdraw the amount of money that you planned on spending to prevent unnecessary purchases.
2. Less Promotional Mail – When you use credit cards for purchases stores typically save that information and are able to send out promotional mailers and emails about current specials or sales. These promotional materials can tempt consumers to make extra purchases.
3. No Risk of Identity Theft – Millions of consumers make purchases with credit cards throughout the holiday season and sometimes online hackers are able to access consumer credit card information. By using cash you won’t have to worry about your information getting into unwanted hands.
4. Helps Small Businesses – Smaller retailers and restaurants have to pay processing fees on all credit card purchases, by using cash you not only help yourself stay on budget but you are also helping out smaller local businesses.
5. Cash Discounts – Some retailers offer discounts if you pay with cash rather than using your credit card.