For many people, the euphoria of the Christmas shopping season is marred by the agony of the debt-paying season that follows.
Ed Ensslin of Danville, an experienced financial counselor and a follower of popular author and talk-show host Dave Ramsey of "I'm Debt-Free" fame, has a few helpful hints for people who want to enjoy their gift-buying and gift-giving without suffering a financial hangover afterward:
* First and foremost, Ensslin said, "just determine how much you can afford to spend. Use a debit card or cash. Leave the credit cards at home or, better yet, cut them up and get rid of them.
* Second, Ensslin said, "when you determine how much you can spend, make a Christmas list budget and put a dollar amount beside every name on your list. Gift cards and gift certificates are excellent way to stay on budget because you can purchase them for the exact amount you want to spend."