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Navigating the rest of the holidays without more credit card debt

The end of the holiday season is upon us. However, a large amount of the shopping that will be done in association with this season has yet to take place. Over the next few days and approaching January 1, 2013, American consumers will spend an extraordinary amount of money on goods and services designed to brighten the season. Well, consumers will spend money and will use up available credit, which are not exactly the same things.

People across the country tend to go into significant credit card debt at the holidays. They reason that the financial burden awaiting them next year is well worth it if the purchases they make now will help to ensure that their loved ones can enjoy them. Others simply find themselves strapped and unable to finance their everyday purchases on available funds alone.

However, it only takes a few stories from Americans trapped under a pile of debt to understand that going into significant credit card debt should be avoided whenever possible. You may have racked up more credit card debt than you originally intended to this season. But it is not too late to take action to prevent the rest of the season from spiraling out of control.

The number one tip you need to follow at this point is not to let feelings of guilt influence your spending. Your loved ones will understand if you are stretched beyond your limits, even if your loved ones are young. Kids love gifts at the holidays, but you can absolutely commit to taking the kids in your life on adventures in the coming year. Your presence, thought and effort will be what they remember, even if they don't completely understand why your gift is not physically wrapped up with a bow on top.

The holidays are intended to be a time of joy. Please do not allow a slip in your credit card spending to become an avalanche because you feel guilty about not spending enough. You will only make your financial situation less stable when next year's holiday season rolls around.

Source: Business Insider, "5 Tips To Make It Through The Holidays Credit Debt-Free," Mandi Woodruff, Dec. 3, 2012

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