smart spending

Give yourself the gift of a debt-free holiday

Keep spending in check
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This is the wrong way to shop
By Jean Chatzky

Keep spending in check

Treat yourself to a great gift this holiday season: No new debt!

Yes, Virginia, it is possible. And you don't have to turn into Scrooge to do it.

"We get so numb, we forget the reality of money during December," says Chris Hogan, money coach, former banker and author of the upcoming book "Retire Inspired."

"I've seen people take 12 to 14 months to pay off the credit card bills from 1 month," he says.

One strategy for keeping your spending in check: Remember "how you will feel in January and February," says Hogan.

Best of all, when the holidays are over and you're toasting the new year, you won't be haunted by the ghosts of debts past.

Here are 6 ways to make it happen.

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