When it comes to fixing a problem, half the battle is understanding the problem. And for many Americans around this time of year, one very common problem is how excessive spending turns into a holiday debt hangover.
Americans’ holiday spending habits — and for the month after Christmas when the bills start to come in — the picture isn’t so pretty. But knowing some important information before you shop can help you avoid a holiday financial hangover!
- $885 billion is projected to be spent this year on holiday shopping
- 66% of shoppers go over their budget by an average of $116
- 93% of retailers repeat deals from year to year
- 35% of people maxed out one or more of their credit cards last year
- Last year, 7% of people still had debt leftover from the previous holiday
In order to avoid a holiday debt hangover this year, follow these tips
- Come up with an overall budget that you track with your phone or a piece of paper. Every time you buy something, you have to record it. Mint is a free app that can help you track your finances online every day of the year.
- Make sure you include money for yourself – lots of people end up spending money they don’t expect on themselves.
- As a parent of three kids, Clark knows the pressure to get them the “it” item a kid wants. To solve your guilt issues about spending money you shouldn’t spend, remember that what your kids really want is time with you. Give them a coupon for a “Dad and me day” at the local park or bowling alley – something simple that wouldn’t cost too much money.
The holidays should be about memories and people, not about stress and stuff. Stick to your budget, and enjoy your time with family and friends!
What to know about holiday shopping debt
Source: Holiday Hangover by Savings.com