People tend to spend more toward the end of the year. With Christmas and Thanksgiving close together on the calendar, many are spending money on travel expenses, gifts, food and parties. It’s an expensive season for numerous Louisiana consumers, and you may find yourself taking a lot of debt with you into the New Year. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way.

Holiday spending may send you into a precarious financial situation, but there are ways you can deal with some of your balances. If you are dreading opening your credit card bills and find yourself wondering how you’ll ever get ahead in 2020, it may be prudent to start thinking about ways you can regain control of your situation. By planning ahead, you can look to this coming year with more confidence regarding your financial outlook.

Budget well

Perhaps you’ve already purchased many presents and spent more money than you planned to this holiday season. Regardless, it’s never too late to create a budget. This can help you curtail spending the remaining weeks of the year, and it can also serve as good practice to go into 2020 with more control over your spending habits. Creating a budget is also a practical way to see where you maybe overspending and how you can cut back.

Shop smart

Many places have sales, doorbuster deals and coupons available this time of year. If you still have some shopping to do, find ways to save on every purchase. Try to price match, shop online and compare asking prices before you swipe your credit card. While convenience is important, it is also better for your bottom line to get in the habit of shopping smart. This is true for the holidays and beyond.

Deal with balances now

If you know that your credit card balances will be high going into 2020, start paying them down now if you are able. Paying just a little more can help you manage your bills after the first of the year. Some consumers find it more practical to start saving so they can pay off a large portion of their bill when it is time to make a payment.

Think long-term

If you know that your debt situation is more than you can handle on your own, it may be time to start thinking about long-term solutions to your problems. One way you can do this is by filing for bankruptcy, a process that allows an applicant to discharge certain types of balances. If you are considering this step, you may find it beneficial to first speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney about your options.