Shopping smart and staying away from holiday debt

CHARLESTON,SC (WCSC) - During the season of giving, some families are getting themselves into deeper debt.

The lights, the sales and holiday marketing make it easy to go a little crazy on gifts for your loved ones.

Debt Counselor and Home ownership Director Debbie Kidd says she sees people way in over their head in debt, especially after holiday spending.

"This is the first year we are seeing folks coming in with $100,000 in bills they simply cannot pay," Kidd said.

When it comes to seasonal purchases it's important to make a list as well as a budget and use cash wherever possible.

"Leave the credit cards behind. If you bring your credit cards with you will over spend for those gifts," Kidd said.

That is something shopper Zoe Roff understands.

"We just did not want to get any further into debt so the main goal of shopping has been not to put anything on credit," Roff said.

Other shoppers like Shantay Fludd are using a different approach when it comes to saving.

Fludd is working a seasonal job in addition to her full time and using the seasonal money to shop for the holidays.

"This is my first year so far its working so I think I'm going to be doing it next year as well," Fludd said.

Kidd says you need to be realistic when it comes to spending.

Avoid last-minute shopping which can lead to more debt and shop smart by looking for the great deals and using coupons.

It's also important to track your spending.

"If you are putting gifts before your rent,utilities and food you don't have the money to buy gifts this year," Kidd said.

According to online survey firm Veraquest 39 percent of Americans plan on using credit cards or personal lines of credit to cover their holiday spending this year.

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