(ABC News) - Talk about Christmas in July (okay, August).
Carrie Rocha has already started her holiday shopping. “A few weeks back I picked up a $60 toy for $4, and, truth be told, I picked up a whole lot more than that,” she wrote in an email. “I spent about $80 total and got $350+ in toys.”
If you think the holidays start too early as it is, you may find her approach a bit overboard. But several years ago, Rocha and her husband dug out of debt, paying off some $50,000 in consumer debt, a process she detailed in her book and website PocketYourDollars.com. One of their strategies, she says, was to “stop pretending the holidays don’t come every year.”
Whether you want to think about it or not, the fact is the holidays will be here before you know it. So unless you have plenty of money to throw around or plan to forgo festivities altogether, now is the time to start planning for a debt-free and less stressful holiday.
"To start this in July is fabulous,” says Karen McCall, founder of the Financial Recovery Institute. “One of the things that happens to people is they leave it until the last minute, and the chance of them having the Christmas they want without going into debt decreases.”
Here are 10 tips from five experts to help you do just that. ---> Click here for Mobile. Click here for Computer.
Any opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author.