Managing holiday credit card debt in the new year

- It's the new year and it's time to get your finances on track, especially now that the bills are starting to arrive from all your Christmas spending.

Total retail sales in the United States have hit nearly $3 trillion during the Christmas holiday shopping season, making the biggest growth since 2011, according to eMarketer. However, many Americans are now starting the new year off with at least $1,000 of holiday shopping debt.

George Janas, the President of Consumer Debt Counselors in Winter Park, says that this new year, you should take a page from smart shopping habits when it comes to your credit card debit.

"Budget, operate pragmatically, and always track what you're doing," Janas says. "They key is management, it really is management. The folks who are accustomed to working with a budget have a little bit of a leg up as opposed to those who don't."

Janas says that racking up credit card debit isn't a problem if you have the cash to pay it off quickly. However, less than 25% of consumers admit they have the funds to pay off their Christmas credit card debit within one month. Most say that they will need at least four months to get it all paid off. 

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