The holidays are here. It’s the season for eating, drinking, being merry and exchanging gifts with friends and loved ones. Unfortunately it’s also the season for overspending. Money magazine recently interviewed two experts on the pitfalls of holiday shopping: “Blame it on heightened emotional vulnerability, says psychology professor Susan Krauss Whitbourne of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. ‘There’s a lot of guilt and social comparison in holiday shopping,’ she explains, adding that people often compensate by exercising their purchasing muscles. What’s more, ‘if you see everyone out having fun while spending, you mimic the behavior,’ says Mary Gresham, a psychologist specializing in financial issues.”
Is the siren-song of your credit cards too seductive? Is your spending way too jolly? Does your blood pressure go up just thinking about the bills you’ll receive in January? Read one of these great titles about keeping your debt under control and you out of trouble all year long.
CLARK HOWARD’S LIVING LARGE IN LEAN TIMES: TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY-PLUS WAYS TO BUY SMARTER, SPEND SMARTER, AND SAVE MONEY
By Clark Howard. 2011 DB 73952
Television and radio consumer advocate’s guide to saving money offers advice on range of topics from cars to homes to travel. The first chapter covers changes that could have immediate effects on personal finances. Other chapters include tips for buying utilities, insurance, mortgages, health care, and education. Bestseller.
CHEAPSKATE NEXT DOOR: THE SURPRISING SECRETS OF AMERICANS LIVING HAPPILY BELOW THEIR MEANS
By Jeff Yeager 2010 DB 72384
Provides practical advice and tips on ways to live on less than you earn. Suggests a change in attitude about money, possessions, and life.
BUYOLOGY: TRUTH AND LIES ABOUT WHY WE BUY
By Martin Lindstrom 2008 DB 68128 RC 68128
Marketing expert explains “buyology,” his term for the subconscious thoughts, feelings, and desires that drive consumer decisions. Discusses findings from a three-year, multimillion-dollar neuromarketing experiment that gauged responses to products and advertisements and tried to determine the ways sex, religion, subliminal messages, and bodily senses influence purchasing.
ABC’S OF GETTING OUT OF DEBT: TURN BAD DEBT INTO GOOD DEBT AND BAD CREDIT INTO GOOD CREDIT
by Garrett Sutton. 2004. DB 60539 DLD DX 60539 RC 60539
Advice on using debt wisely. Author describes the difference between good debt and bad debt, explains credit scores and reports, and suggests ways to repair one’s finances and avoid scams. Includes case-studies, sample letters, credit reports, and resources.
CONSUMER REPORTS (monthly publication)
In-depth articles that rate consumer products tested for quality, durability, and safety; also contains general-interest articles on such topics as health and money management.
Money (monthly publication)
Articles on money management, consumer, and family issues; includes regular columns with news and advice on jobs, taxes, Social Security, investments, products, and services.