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While the Christmas season is the time for merriment, it is also the season when more people get into financial trouble than any other time of the year. Excess Christmas shopping can get a person into big trouble for the new year, especially during hard economic times.

“It’s great to buy and charge things and not have to worry about the bills until January or February, but that’s when the serious financial trouble begins”, says Irwin L. Zalutsky, a partner in the law firm of Zalutsky & Pinski, Ltd., 20 North Clark Street, a large personal bankruptcy firm in Illinois.

“Our experience tells us that people can help themselves by shopping wisely during the Christmas season, still enjoy the holidays and not face a mountain of bills come the new year,” Zalutsky said.

The firm has developed their “Ten Commandments of Christmas Shopping,” based on more than 50 years’ experience serving the public as bankruptcy specialists:

  1. Continue to be price conscious. Don’t stop looking for bargains just because of the holiday season. Sometimes retailers will be offering great savings prior to the peak buying time between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Look for bargains and compare prices.
  2. Don’t side shop. Frequently a person out to get Christmas presents will decide to buy a few “expensive” items for themselves.
  3. Try not to shop at the last minute. The retailer has you over a barrel. Whatever is left at whatever price is marked is what you will end up with. You could blow the budget with a few purchases the day before Christmas.
  4. Prepare a Christmas shopping list and stick to it. You are better off if you know what you’re shopping for and can pin-point the best deals. Comparison shopping is a good way to save money.
  5. Use your credit cards judiciously. Never go over your credit limit. Try to set aside money for Christmas shopping during the year so that you don’t have to pay the high interest on charge cards.
  6. Don’t buy large family items such as refrigerators, stoves, televisions, automobiles, home furnaces, during the Christmas shopping season. Wait until you see what your statements look like in January or February.
  7. Don’t take time off work to shop unless you are being paid for the time. Shop during lunch hours if you must, but don’t subtract from your paycheck, or you may end up short.
  8. Do not shop while hungry or when drinking alcohol. People who are hungry or under the influence sometimes make hasty, rash decisions.
  9. Plan your holiday parties carefully. Don’t buy liquor or food you cannot afford during the rest of the year. Remember, you are still earning the same money during the holidays.
  10. Above all, have fun while your shopping. You’ll stop having fun when your subconscious tells you that you have begun to exceed your financial limits.

For more information, about Zalutsky & Pinski, go to ZAPBILLSNOW.COM OR CALL 312-273-1217. Have a Happy Holiday Season.

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