Overspending on gifts has become as traditional as the Christmas tree.
A recent Nerdwallet survey finds one in four Americans is still paying off the debt from last Christmas.
“There’s a tendency to get caught up in the holiday shopping spirit,” says financial adviser Lynnette Khalfani-Cox. “The music, the festivities, the smells are encouraging you to spend and retailers are pretty savvy about getting you to buy more.”
The self-proclaimed “Money Coach” says to avoid debt, avoid store shopping and avoid paying with a credit card.
“My number one tip for avoiding debt is to pay with cash and to use online shopping as ways to help you avoid the temptation to overspend,” Khalfani-Cox says.
She also recommends a new resolution for the new year: Start saving early for next year. Just $50 a month will add up to $600 by the time next Christmas arrives.