KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- 

new survey shows 9 percent of Americans are still paying off debt from last year’s holiday shopping.

Holiday debt is shared among all age groups, but Millennials are the least likely to have it paid off within the following year.

Without a plan to pay it off, debt that racks up in a few weeks can follow you around for years. 

If you have $1,000 of debt and a 15% interest rate, and you make the minimum 2% payment, by paying $20 a month, you’ll be paying off this year’s holidays for 79 months. That would put you in debt until 2026.

Forty-eight million Americans incurred some debt during the 2019 holiday season. Local shoppers say gift-giving is more of a financial burden than travel or extra food expenses.

“You get caught up in it and you want to make everybody happy, and your kids ask for really expensive things,” Heather Sutter said. “I try not to do that anymore because I’ve done that in the past and it’s hard to catch up with all of the interest that’s charged.”

Some shoppers have come up with some pretty creative ways to pay off the credit card bills or keep them low.

"My husband and I, we try our best to live debt-free. This year we started something new where we just went to thrift shops and bought our kids gifts from thrift shops," Leah Roberts said.

If dipping into debt is a tradition for your family, experts say budgeting throughout the year will make them more merry and bright.

Here are some steps they recommend.

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