Financial experts offers tips for tackling holiday debt

BROOKLYN - Now that the wrapping paper has been torn off all those holiday gifts, many Brooklyn residents are facing the reality of post-holiday debt. For people who have made it their New Year's resolution to get back on track financially, credit counselors and financial advisors have lots of tips. First, they say, assess the damage from holiday spending by adding up credit card bills and balancing checkbooks. Next, implement a strategy to pay down that debt by trimming future expenses. Credit counselors say this can be done in small ways, such as dining out less or scrapping a gym membership and exercising outdoors instead. Even while working off this year's debt, it's important to plan ahead for the 2012 holiday season, experts say. They recommend establishing a holiday savings fund, similar to an emergency or vacation fund. There are also free, city-sponsored credit counseling centers around the borough for those who need help managing their debt or with financial planning.Info on City's Free Financial Centers

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