Originally created 11/27/05

Business briefs



LOOK AHEAD

Restaurant blues

A favorite local eatery struggles with its location.

Coming Wednesday

retail rebuilding

A major shopping center gets an upgrade.

Coming Thursday

trades shortage

Despite the opportunities, traditional trades jobs are proving a tough sell.

BIZ BITES

Try fiscal restraint on shopping trips

If you're a little leery about how much restraint your family will exercise in the fray of the spending season, relax a bit.

This process can be easier than you might think, according to the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Atlanta, a nonprofit that helps people sort out debt payment issues.

It offers a few tips:

  • Set a spending limit. Base this on how much you could spend if you did it all without credit card borrowing.
  • People who use credit cards for gifts spend an average of 30 percent more than those plunking down cash, according to the agency.

  • Make a list. And then check it. Include all the people you're certain need a gift from you. Next to the names, add the amount you feel prudent spending on them. When done, check: Is this total a huge amount of money? You might be able to cull some names, or trim the expected expenditures.
  • Put some extra thought into your gifts. Typically, the most cherished gifts aren't those you got in a box from Amazon or Target. Do you have an old photo with a friend he or she might have forgotten about, or a youngster's artwork you could frame as a gift? Do you bake?
  • Shop early, often and online. The sooner you start, the more information you'll have on all the products you're tracking. And the smarter you are about who sells what, and for how much, the better off your finances will be.
  • "It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the season," President Suzanne Boas said.

    "When the holidays are over, many consumers struggle to make even minimum payments on credit cards used to purchase gifts."


    REACH US

    Contact Business Editor Damon Cline at: (706) 823-3486 or damon.cline@augustachronicle.com.