Posts Tagged ‘debt’



Dinners, parties and gifts … oh my! The holiday season is upon us and that means for most, spending will be at an all-time high. While some may have saved throughout the year for this special season of giving, many will break out their credit cards and dig themselves into debt. But it doesn’t have to be that way! You can still make it a holly, jolly Christmas — without going into debt. Here’s how:


Folly: Buying whatever strikes your fancy at the time and not keeping track of what you spend or buy.

Jolly: Making a budget and sticking to it. This way, you don’t end up with too much stuff or a lot of filler that doesn’t have meaning.


Folly: Buying random gifts and then figuring out who to give them to.

Jolly: Take note from old Saint Nick. Make a list of recipients, gifts and what you want to spend. Then check them off, one by one!


Folly: Waiting until the last minute to do your shopping.

Jolly: The early bird not only gets the worm, but gets the best prices, too! Shop around and do your homework so you can take advantage of sales and get more bang for your buck.


Folly: Spending too much on entertainment for you and your family.

Jolly: Some of the best experiences in life can’t be bought. Why not host a Christmas movie marathon, go caroling or drive around your neighborhood to see everyone’s decorations? Sometimes the simple things are the sweetest.


Folly: Getting too caught up in the buying season.

Jolly: Giving back to those less fortunate. There are tons of ways to give your time or money to those who need help this season. Forgo a few gifts and reallocate that money to charity. Tis the season for giving … back to your community!


Folly: Breaking the bank on decorations.

Jolly: Have any holly bushes outside? Cut off a few branches to use in a display or put in a vase. Have pine trees or evergreens in your backyard? Make your own garland with some twine or ribbon! String together popcorn and cranberries or make a paper chain. Thrifty (but beautiful) decorating ideas are endless!


Folly: Buying your kids everything on their wish list.

Jolly: Starting a new tradition like “want, need, wear, read.” Buy four presents, one for each category. Not only will it make the gifts more meaningful, it will save a lot of money, too!


Don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle. There are countless ways to save money this holiday season. Make your holiday a jolly occasion and head into 2016 without a bunch of extra debt weighing you down!



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The National Retail Federation estimates that people will spend about $800 each shopping this holiday season!1 Considering the average weekly earnings for Americans is only $771, that’s a huge sacrifice.2

Spending too much on gifts is easy to do without a plan. Try making a list of all of the people you still need to shop for – and be sure to include what you hope to spend on each gift. Experts say that if you fail to set a specific budget, your spending can get out of control.3

Download our free holiday shopping worksheet, and keep tabs on what you’ve planned to buy, what you’ve budgeted – and what you’ve actually spent this holiday season!


1, “5 Holiday Shopping Tips To Stay On Budget,” November 11, 2013
2, “Usual Weekly Earnings Of Wage And Salary Workers Third Quarter 2013,” November 1, 2013
3, “Tips for stretching your holiday budget,” viewed December 4, 2013


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Today’s college grads are facing the “real world” with an extra scoop of debt.

Two-thirds of students graduating from college or graduate school have student loans – about $25,000 on average. That’s a 25% increase over the past 10 years. In fact, today’s twentysomething holds an average debt of $45,000, including everything from student loans to mortgages and credit cards.

Unfortunately, unemployment for those aged 18-29 is 12.4%, well above the national rate of 8.2%.

If you’re among this group and struggling with paying the bills, consider the part-time Primerica opportunity. It’s a great way to earn extra income while helping families reach their financial goals.

*Associated Press, April 3, 2012
**USA Today, April 23, 2012

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Many financial experts advise that when it comes to your credit, “Vigilance is your best protection.” That means regularly monitoring your credit for any suspicious activity. Visit to request a free yearly report, or ask your Primerica representative about Primerica DebtWatchers™. It’s a great program that notifies you via email or text message if there are any key changes to your Equifax Credit Report, such as when new accounts are opened or someone makes an inquiry into your credit file. It also allows you access to your credit score four times a year with continuous enrollment. For more information about Primerica DebtWatchers™, contact your Primerica Representative.

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Times are tough, but you don’t have to let your debt mark you forever. If you’re among the 79% of undergrads who have credit cards, you’re part of a group carrying record-high credit balances. The average balance grew to $3,173 and 21% have balances of between $3,000 to $7,000. And this isn’t even including the more than $25,000 amassed in student debt!1 Is this really the way you pictured starting your life?

Proud and in Debt
According to researchers at Ohio State University, young adults feel empowered by their credit card and education debts. Seriously?! You feel empowered? “The more credit card and college loan debt 18- to 27-year-olds had, the more they felt like they were in control of their lives. Ironically, this is the generation that is expected to deal with an increasingly growing 14 trillion dollar national debt.”2

Don’t let your debt scar you. Get out now and stay out of debt. That’s the only way to really get ahead and make the most of all of your hard-earned cash. Here are some tips to help you avoid digging yourself into debt:

  • Add it up. It might make you a little queasy, but you’re better off knowing where you stand. Get all of your bills together and do the math.
  • Less cards = more control. Did you know that half of college undergrads had 4 or more credit cards?3 It’s time to get rid of that card you opened for a free T-shirt on the first day of class and keep it manageable. Have you heard of debt stacking? It’s a great way to gear down your debt. Take a look:


  • Check your credit. Did you know you can get your credit report for free once a year? Visit (877-322-8228). You might have a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on your debt balance but your credit score is the number one thing banks, creditors — and future employers — look at, so you’d better know what’s up.
  • Develop a budget. Ugh. The B-word. Budgets are boring, right? Maybe, but for some, this can be a major wake-up call. If you seem to run short at the end of the month and can’t figure out where the money goes, this is a great way to discover less than stellar trends in your spending habits.
  • Learn from your mistakes. “Nearly one in five 18- to 24-year-olds is in ‘debt hardship,’”4 so even if you’re in over your head right now, you can make a couple of strategic changes and get back in the black. As soon as you learn from your mistakes, you can start taking a step in the right direction … and that’s money in that bank!
  1., viewed on October 11, 2011,, November 8, 2011
  2., June 9, 2011
  3., viewed on October 11, 2011
  4. Ibid

* The examples are for illustrative purposes only. The Debt Stacking concept assumes that: (1) you make consistent payments on all of your debts, (2) when you pay off the first debt in your plan, you add the payment you were making toward that debt to your existing payment on the next debt in your plan (therefore you make the same total monthly payment each month toward your debts) (3) you continue this process until you have eliminated all of the debts in your plan. In the example above, when the retail card is paid off, the $220 is applied to credit card 2, accelerating its payment to $573. After credit card 2 is paid off, the $573 is applied to the car loan for a total payment of $1,124. The process is then continued until all debts are paid off. Note that the total payment per month remains constant.


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