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How to avoid credit card debt during this time next year

Just how should one use their credit card over the holiday season? This is one question many Florida residents are asking themselves after putting themselves in significant debt from buying gifts this year.

The first thing to do -- before even spending a dollar -- is to create a budget. By having a budget, a shopping isn't as apt to just go out and start swiping their credit card and overspending.

At the same time as creating the budget, now is also a good time to get a clear picture on all debts that have already been accrued. This way a shopper will know how much he or she can actually spend. When figuring this out, also keep in mind that experts advise against spending more than 20 percent of a credit limit. Spending more than 20 percent could end up negatively impacting a credit score.

Lastly, if in the middle of shopping a person realizes that he or she has already gone over budget, something went wrong and it is time to stop. The idea of just putting debt on top of debt is never good for anyone.

For many Florida residents this advice may come too late as they have already overspent this past holiday season. Or, in other cases, medical emergencies and other unplanned events happen, and the credit card debt just keeps piling up. Either way these tips are still useful to follow in the future. For now, an attorney with experience in debt relief solutions can help explore what options are available.

Source: Fox Business News, "Warning Signs for Holiday Credit Card Debt," Dana Dratch, Dec. 20, 2012

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