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Preventing holiday credit card debt

Posted at 6:55 PM, Dec 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-22 18:55:28-05

New statistics out say the average family faces $16,000 in credit card debt.

Shoppers are expected to rack up thousands of dollars in debt trying to get that perfect gift for loved ones. They could be digging a deeper ditch if they continue to swipe away.

"A lot of us are so quick to just go buy stuff because we can make the monthly payments and not worrying about how that balance is growing and what happens down the road if you don't pay it off," Wilcox Financial Group CEO, Nicholle Overkamp said.

Sarah Blankenship and Nicholle Overkamp run Wilcox Financial Group in Williamsville. The start of the new year after the holiday is over is usually a busy time for them. Many people come into their office looking for help after accumulating holiday debt.

"Put a budget together think about who you need to buy a gift for and list it out and how much money you have," Overkamp said.

"Sometimes shopping too early in the year can be a problem as well because then you end up with even way more than you anticipated buying in the first place," Blankenship said.

Experts say the main thing you can do is treat a credit card just like cash. Be realistic about what you can spend and remember the reason for the season.

Noreen Panzarella said she is watching her wallet this holiday season to make sure she doesn't over spend her budget.

"I definitely cut back and gave gifts that really meant something," Panzarella said.