You swiped the card, you got the gift and soon enough you'll have to pay for it. It's a holiday shopping tradition that leaves many folks in a financial hole.
"At what other time of the year do you feel compelled to go out and buy something," said financial advisor and branch manager at Raymond James Financial Services, Ward Van Skiver.
Van Skiver says too often, folks get caught up in the spending frenzy, leading to months of balances due and minimum payments.
"I think a lot of people are absolutely thinking about not much else other than do I have everything on my list," said Van Skiver.
That comes with reason. State senior economist Marianne Hill says a lot of recent spending has to do with an upswing in consumer confidence.
"Consumer's are taking out more debt so that can purchase more," said Hill.
A lot of that debt comes from the ease of plastic. For many people, the convenience of a credit card, turns into a problem. While that's good for business and the economy, it literally comes at the expense of consumers.
Hill says, "It has a very good, positive effect but consumers do have to be careful that they don't overdue it."
Van Skiver says, "You just don't think about the money in the same fashion when you swipe the card versus pull the green backs out of your pocket."
Having a budget in place before you shop and sticking to it is the overall recommendation, but if it's too late for that, Van Skiver says start coming up with a plan of re-payment now.
"They're just going to do the plan old simple hard work of first identifying what the problem is and then determining some plan or method to get the debt paid off," said Van Skiver.
Copyright 2012 Mississippi News Now. All rights reserved.
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