How to keep holiday debt under control - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

How to keep holiday debt under control

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - 'Tis the season for holiday shopping, but all that spending can leave some people in the red.

The National Retail Federation says the average American household plans to spend about $750 this year on holiday shopping. But what happens is that consumers who wait until the last minute sometimes forget about how much they can really afford, and when the bills come due in January, they can suddenly find themselves drowning in debt.

San Diego-based consumer rights attorney Josh Swigart, whose Mission Valley office specialized in getting people out of financial trouble, offers some tips to avoid overspending this holiday season.

"If you're going to pay for your gifts with cash or on a credit card, have some type of budget. So if you make last-minute purchases with a credit card, you at least know there's a maximum you can spend, and when it comes due in January or February, you can pay that off," Swigart said.

When holiday shopping debt spirals out of control, it won't be Santa Claus who will be coming to collect early next year.

"If the accounts get defaulted, and a lot of times the credit card companies are going to collect amongst themselves with continuous calls to home phones, work, cell phones. And if you can't make the payments, they're going to sell it to somebody else, and the calls are going to get worse," Swigart said.

If you don't want the Grinch to steal your Christmas, here's Swigart's best advice to keep your belt tight.

"It's important to maybe take a step back, recognize what the holiday season is about and spend time with friends and family instead of trying to overspend," he said.

  • CBS 8 FeaturesMore>>

  • San Diego County’s campaign finance data is hard to search. We’re here to help

    San Diego County’s campaign finance data is hard to search. We’re here to help

    Friday, April 20 2018 1:58 AM EDT2018-04-20 05:58:00 GMT
    This is a stack of Form 460s photographed on April 16, 2018. They are the most comprehensive finance reports that a California political campaign must file.This is a stack of Form 460s photographed on April 16, 2018. They are the most comprehensive finance reports that a California political campaign must file.

    In 2006, the city of San Diego began allowing political campaigns to electronically file their financial reports, giving the public easy access to information on money in city politics. The county of San Diego wasn’t as quick to make the same kind of information available and continues to lag behind the city’s efforts.

     

    In 2006, the city of San Diego began allowing political campaigns to electronically file their financial reports, giving the public easy access to information on money in city politics. The county of San Diego wasn’t as quick to make the same kind of information available and continues to lag behind the city’s efforts.

     
  • City leaders discuss the future of animal services

    City leaders discuss the future of animal services

    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:02 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:02:04 GMT

    Despite a dispute over contract stipulations, the San Diego City Council's Budget and Government Efficiency Committee advanced a proposal to have the San Diego Humane Society provide the city's animal services.

     

    Despite a dispute over contract stipulations, the San Diego City Council's Budget and Government Efficiency Committee advanced a proposal to have the San Diego Humane Society provide the city's animal services.

     
  • Hullabaloo! Writing 20 songs in 20 days

    Hullabaloo! Writing 20 songs in 20 days

    Thursday, April 19 2018 8:58 PM EDT2018-04-20 00:58:56 GMT

    Perform 300 concerts in front of screaming kids every year, and you may just be the hardest working man in San Diego show business.

     

    Perform 300 concerts in front of screaming kids every year, and you may just be the hardest working man in San Diego show business.

     
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.