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Holiday spending habits don't go away easily

Florida shoppers will likely turn to their credit cards to buy goods this holiday season. In 2016, the average U.S. shopper spent $657 on gifts and other purchases, and that number is expected to go up slightly to $660 in 2017. This was according to the Consumer Holiday Shopping Report from NerdWallet. The report also found that 24 percent of people went over their budgets last year despite taking time to make one.

Putting Christmas gifts and related spending on a credit card could cost more in the long run because of interest charges. Carrying balances on a credit card could also hurt a person's credit score. Ideally, debtors will aim to use no more than 30 percent of an available credit limit. To keep spending to a reasonable level, individuals are urged to make a realistic budget and to avoid being swayed by deals from retailers.

Those who are concerned that they will spend too much on a credit card should leave them at home while shopping. Using such a strategy may also help people stick to a budget as its impossible to spend cash that isn't available. People who do use a credit card should make sure that they can pay down the balance before interest is charged on it.

Debtors who are having trouble paying off outstanding balances may benefit from filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. It may provide individuals with a fresh financial start or an opportunity to pay off balances in full over a longer period of time. This chapter is designed for consumers who have a reliable source of income and who can stick to the repayment terms in the plan that has been approved by the court.

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