Holiday Shopping Trends – in October?

It’s never too early to talk about holiday spending

If holiday shopping has yet to cross your mind, it’s already crossed the desks of researchers at the International Council of Shopping Centers.

The ICSC represents the businesses that sell those gifts, decorations, and fruit cakes. So it desperately wants to know how much you plan to spend on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all the other days leading up to gift-giving time.

After much study, the results are in…

“Holiday shoppers will spend an average of $702 this season – up from $677 in 2014,” says the ICSC’s 2015 Consumer Forecast. Of that, $575 will go toward gifts, while $127 will be spent on “all other holiday-related items.”

Of course, the early shopper gets the bargain. Check out Consolidated Credit’s Holiday Survival Guide for tips on how to get the most presents for your pennies.

Sadly, smart spending may not be on most people’s shopping list this season.

“With gas prices and unemployment down, and housing prices up, holiday shoppers are heading into the season with increased confidence in their spending power,” says ICSC spokesman Jesse Tron.

That concerns Consolidated Credit president Gary Herman.

“No one wants to be a Scrooge and tell you not to buy gifts for loved ones,” Herman says. “Still, it’s wise to create a budget that won’t drive you into deep credit card debt. Nothing is worse than opening that December credit card statement in January and realizing it might take you all year to pay it off – if you can pay it off at all.”

If you’re buried under credit card debt right now, call a certified credit counselor at 1-888-294-3130 for a free debt analysis. Don’t wait until after the holidays to get on the path to financial freedom. It’s the best present you can give yourself.

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