Don't Ring In New Year With Holiday Debt

Christmas day is just a few days away. Hopefully you have checked off all the items on your list, but there are lots of procrastinators who have not.
The Saturday before Christmas is typically the busiest shopping day of the year and regardless of what they are shopping for, the one thing most people are getting this season is holiday debt.
It will not be a white Christmas this year, but for many, it will be a red one, with holiday credit card use at its highest since the recession.

Financial Planner Bobby Roberts said that poor planning plays the biggest role.
"They don't start planning for Christmas until Thanksgiving and then it's a little too late,” said Roberts. “You need to start planning a year in advance."
Kayla Scheler just finished crossing her sisters off her shopping list.
"We've been using credit cards, debit cards. Just budgeting it out,” Scheler said. “We've always had a certain price range.”
But many do not, TransUnion expects credit-card debt to continue climbing through the new year, with the average debt per borrower being just over $5,000.
"They'll go on an impulse because something is marked down. They'll buy it, put it on a credit card then take six months to a year to pay, and by that time you add all the interest that they're using on a credit card for the discount purchase they've more than exceeded what the cost was they were saving," Roberts said.
Scheler agrees impulse buying is what gives her the most trouble.
"That's a little harder, those impulse buys. You really want that thing and it ends up being, 'oh, I'll buy that for Christmas," she said.
Roberts says while credit card seems like access to easy money, we must get back into the habit of saving.
"If you have more money going out than you have coming in, I don't care what kind of business you're in, that's not a solution for a successful business."
Especially the business of running your home and a successful Christmas holiday.

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