NATIONAL (NBC/KAIT) - One habit could mean two weeks before Christmas is also two more weeks to get in trouble, financially.
Overspending on gifts and running up debt has become a holiday tradition for many.
“Money Coach” Lynnette Khalfani-Cox said this year 66 million Americans are going to go into debt during the holiday shopping season.
A new NerdWallet survey found one in four shoppers were still paying off the debt from last Christmas.
“There’s a tendency to get caught up in the holiday shopping spirit. The music, the festivities, the smells are encouraging you to spend and retailers are pretty savvy about getting you to buy more,” said Khalfani-Cox.
Khalfani-Cox said to avoid debt, avoid store shopping, and avoid paying with a credit card.
"My number one tip for avoiding debt is to pay with cash and to use online shopping as ways to help you avoid the temptation to overspend," said Khalfani-Cox.
She also recommended a new resolution for the new year: start saving for next year. She said saving $50 a month could result in $600 in 12 months. The extra funds could then be used for the 2019 holiday season.