"It’s only once a year," Bob Cratchit tells Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol." And it’s that kind of un-Scrooge-like thinking that can turn the merriest holiday season into one that piles on months of debt… As Barbara O’Neill, personal finance professor at Rutgers Cooperative Extension, notes, "People could save themselves a whole lot of stress and money if they just had a plan. But so many don’t."… If paperwork gives you migraines, O’Neill recommends using online planners. Google "holiday spending calculator" and several options will come up. The budget planner at practical moneyskills.com has spaces for all of your holiday expenses, from gifts and home entertaining to travel and charitable donations… As far as holiday entertaining is concerned, O’Neill says a potluck is a time-honored option, but why not add a little fun to it? Have your guests vote for the best soup, entree or dessert, with a $50 gift card going to the top vote-getter.
/ / How to Control Holiday Debt Without Being a Humbug