The holiday season is upon us — the Halloween candy is all gobbled up, Election Day is in the books, and Black Friday fliers are already starting to circulate.
As consumers look to ring in the best deals of the season, shoppers say they’ll spend an average of $1,007.24 on gifts, food and other holiday-related cheer, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s up about 4% from last year.
It’s easy to get wrapped up and be more generous than your purse or wallet can afford. One survey shows people in relationships are willing to take on an average of $200 in credit card debt.
With all the talk about spending to spread cheer, there’s often little talk about the bottom line, sometimes leading to “holiday debt hangover.”
A local real estate company is putting some focus on finances this holiday season.
The event will benefit four local non-profits, including ProsperityME.
The small Portland-based non-profit offers financial literacy courses, counseling and training for low-income Mainers, with a focus on helping immigrants and asylees.
“There is a great need in the community for financial education. Many refugees and immigrants come from cash-based societies and struggle to understand the complex American financial system,” according to the organization’s website.
Since the organization launched in 2008, ProsperityME has done more than 800 one-on-one financial counseling sessions and connected with thousands of refugees, teaching things like basic banking, budgeting, saving for college, and buying a home.
“Giving back to the community that supports us is central to our business and to my personal mission,” said Tom Landry, owner of Benchmark Residential & Investment Real Estate.
Landry said Four A Cause is the company’s biggest event of the year and intended to help shine a spotlight on some of the state’s smaller non-profits.
Four A Cause
Friday, November 30
The event is free but party-goers are urged to make a donation to support the four non-profits. All the money will be divvied up at the end of the night between the four organizations.
Here’s to a happy and healthy holiday season, celebrating without breaking the bank, and opening up our hearts and wallets to those in our communities who could use a little Christmas magic.