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Tips to avoid debt from holiday spending

Tips to avoid debt from holiday spending
Tips to avoid debt from holiday spending(WLBT)
Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 8:51 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - November holiday spending has been on pace to break the records for retail shopping. Will this put you in the red when the bills come due next month?

Financial experts say you can avoid that if you stick to a budget and don’t be tempted to charge those gifts.

The clock is ticking for shoppers in search of those last minute presents. This holiday season the National Retail Federation reports that spending will be highest on record.

Shoppers are estimated to spend $834 to $859 billion dollars, up 11.5 percent over 2020.

If you’re headed to the store, financial adviser Ryder Taff suggests you avoid applying for store credit cards which have high interest and prioritize when using your credit card.

“Some people have mortgages and student loans and car payments as well,” said Taff. “It’s gonna be really important for those people to say, ‘Ok, I’m going to have the minimum on my mortgage and car payment so I can tackle the consumer debt which is more harmful to me, and I need to get that done faster.’”

If you have already charged more than you should, talk to the credit card company.

“They’re often willing to negotiate a payment plan on larger expenses,” said the financial planner. “They’re often willing to negotiate a lower interest rate and waive fees in exchange for maybe a fixed payment plan.”

That trip, hotel room, gas and more will add up if you have not saved or set a budget. But Taff says all is not lost.

“Wages are also rising and there are a lot of job opportunities coming up. So hopefully in the new year you will be able to negotiate a higher salary,” added Taff. “You’ll have higher income and more job opportunities to help you pay for these expensive holidays we’ve just had.”

Experts say don’t feel pressured to blow your budget just because the family is getting together this year.

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