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.

KCTV5.com is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, StormTrack5 weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from KCTV5 News. 

>> Click/tap here to download our free mobile app. <<

Copyright 2020 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.