The holidays are over, but for some, credit card debt from overspending will carry over into the new year. It is estimated that almost half of all Americans go into debt during the holiday season and the total credit card debt in our nation now totals more than a trillion dollars. The most common reasons for taking on credit card debt comes from travel-related expenses, holiday entertainment, and of course, buying gifts. Starting the new year with unwanted debt can be stressful and can take decades to pay off.

Here are some tips for anyone who is suffering a holiday hangover and tips on what you can do to avoid having another ugly credit card bill come next January.

If you are struggling with credit card debt, making simple changes to your budget and resisting the temptation to buy things that you don’t need will help you get back to being financially stable and will also help you to develop better spending habits. The majority of Americans hit the shops without thinking about a budget and have little regard for the amount they are sending. Using cash to do your holiday shopping will help you be more aware of how much you have to spend and makes it almost impossible to go into debt.

Procrastination is always popular among holiday shoppers. Starting your holiday shopping early can have many advantages, and will also save you the stress of dealing with the large crowds that surround the shops during the holiday season. This also gives you more time to think about your finances so that you can be more prepared for avoiding debt and overspending. If you enjoy the holiday shopping experience, then you may want to think about having a savings account to put money into during the year, something that many of us fail to do.

It’s no surprise that people usually have their largest credit card bill in January. It most cases, experts advise that you pay your bill in full if you can, but that is not always an option. Deals, sales and bargains are everywhere during the holiday shopping season, but large interest rates and unnecessary spending can cause the final bill to be a lot more than the original amount you initially had planned to spend. In some cases, an individual can lower their credit score without knowing it and this too can lead to larger bills on other purchases later on down the road.

We understand that it is difficult to avoid overspending during the holiday season, but remember that you could be paying off that debt long after the holiday season ends. If you find yourself wondering what life after bankruptcy would be like without all the debt hanging over your head, call Castle Law Office at 816-842-6200 to speak with an attorney.
Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City
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