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You have less than two months to get ready for Christmas

You might not want to think about how close the Christmas holiday is, but it is time to start planning now. There is less than two months until the holiday that leaves many Americans in deep credit card debt.

The desire to buy presents for loved ones and friends during the holiday season is what leads many people to use credit cards. It just seems easier to swipe the plastic at the register than it does to have to pay with cash. This might lead you to spend more than what you originally planned.

You have time to plan for the holidays if you start today. You need to make a list of the people who you have to buy gifts for. Think about your children and spouse. Typically, your friends wouldn't go on this list. Instead, they should be placed on a list that you will buy for if your finances allow it.

A budget for Christmas spending is necessary. Make a plan for how much you can spend on each person. Once you have that, you can work to maximize what you can purchase for that money.

Sometimes, there just isn't enough cash to make the purchases that fall on the list of musts. If you have to use a credit card, be mindful of how much you spend. Plan to pay it off at the beginning of the year so that the interest charges don't wreck your finances.

Ultimately, if you find that you just can't afford the payments any longer, you might need to consider other options like bankruptcy. This might help you get a fresh financial start so you can enjoy next year's Christmas debt-free.

Source: Forbes, "How To Stay Out Of Debt This Christmas," Jenna Goudreau, Oct. 31, 2017

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