By Mike Stetzer
With many Americans struggling with job loss, medical bills, unaffordable mortgages and bankruptcy, this holiday season may not be the ideal time for some families to splurge on gifts and other expenses. It may be especially important to be careful in light of data recently released by the online payment site eBillMe, which shows that careless holiday spending can follow a consumer for months after the Christmas lights are taken down.
According to the site's data, 5 percent of Americans are currently making payments on debts accrued during last year's holiday season. Only 39 percent of respondents in the survey claimed that they managed to pay off their holiday expenses by March 2010.
Credit card debt can be a primary driver of personal bankruptcy, making it important for families to carefully monitor their spending during the holiday season. It may be advisable to pay in cash whenever possible, as it can be more difficult to track expenses and set a budget when using a credit card, according to Credit.com.