Thursday, December 13, 2012 New Year's Tips on Getting Free of Holiday Debt

New Year's Resolution Tips to Get Your Family Free of Holiday Debt
Personal finance and family expert, Mark Bruinooge, offers tips for the the whole family to find sound financial footing in the New Year

New York, NY [December 31, 2012] – That time of the year again! As we take into account the amount of money spent on gifts, parties, travel, and much more during the holidays, it can be completely overwhelming. It’s hard to start the New Year off on a positive note with your Christmas debt weighing on your mind.

January is Financial Wellness Month and in this spirit, family finance expert, Mark Bruinooge, CEO of, has compiled a list of tips for the whole family to straighten out their piggy banks and start 2013 on the right financial track.

Here are some great ideas for the whole family to get behind:

1.       Start the year by dropping interest: It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and overspend on the credit card. Face any budgetary missteps head on and get rid of this high interest debt as soon as possible. If you know you won’t be able to pay your balance for a while, pay it off with a line of credit to minimize the interest payments that can make repayment a nightmare.

2.       Teach your kids the joy of earning while saving money: Spending doesn’t stop with Christmas when you have kids and sometimes, and it won’t take long for the kids to make their next wishlist. At the next, “Buy me this!” conversation, try setting goals that your child can achieve in order to receive the wanted item as a reward, like saving up for a portion of the cost or completing a certain number of hours of chores. Online tools like can help make it fun by turning saving money and doing chores into a game where kids get rewarded for a job well done, while allowing parents to manage their progress and allocate funds appropriately. On average, families budget 40% of their kid’s earnings to savings.

3.       Switching out cable for online TV can be a great way to cut expenses: Many families spend thousands of dollars each year on cable when those dollars could be going to pay off your debt. More and more people are hooking their TVs up to computers or gaming consoles like the Sony PS3 or Nintendo Xbox 360, which let you watch TV online through streaming services like Hulu+ and Netflix that offer access to the majority of shows and movies on cable for both adults and kids. Online TV can cut your bill to less than $10 per month for each service and help speed up debt payments so families can feel more at ease without giving up a thing.

4.       We know the holidays will come again so plan for them early: Instead of scrambling to make ends meet and charging the credit card during the holidays, set aside a bit of money each month throughout the year so that you will have cash on hand to spend during the holidays. This will help you set a good budget you can stick to when shopping and avoid adding to your debt next year.

5.       Start your kids on the right financial track early and make it fun!: While you get your family finances in order, it’s a great time to start introducing your kids to the basics of how to handle money in a fun way so they don’t fall into any bad habits or debt as they get older. Start small by allowing them to earn a little bit of allowance each week (based on what you can afford) for completing chores around the house. Then show them how to allocate portions of it to saving, spending and giving.

About Mark Bruinooge
Mark Bruinooge is the co-founder and CEO of, proud husband and a father to two sons. After being shocked by a rather large credit card charge for online ‘apps’ downloaded by his sons, Mark decided he needed to build a better way to teach his kids the values of earning, saving, giving and spending money, in a way that is fun and engaging. With a common interest and shared vision, Mark teamed up with Doug Lebda to help kids and families improve their lives through an innovative digital platform. Mark also serves as a resident family finance advocate and expert for publications like


  1. What a great and informative article! #3 was most relavent to me, since that's exactly what we did last year. We cut out $150/month for cable down to $25/mo for netflix. What we can't see on netflix, we watch on the local channel's websites (abc,nbc etc) on free Hulu and Yidio.

  2. This is really great! I am always trying to find new ways to cut household expenses!

  3. Have an article for those who do not want spend too much money on the New Year party:
    New Year Party

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