‘Tis the season to buy, buy, buy. The pressure you may be feeling to purchase gifts, food, decorations and other holiday-related fare may be overwhelming. If you are feeling stressed about your purchasing power this time of year, you are not alone. A startling number of Americans have overwhelming credit card debt and other debts currently and even more will find their way into debt by the end of the season.

Whether you are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, have already done so or are simply worried about what the season will do to your personal finances, rest assured that there are steps you can take to reduce this stress. It is perhaps most important to remember that although pressures to spend this season are real, anyone who truly cares for you will ultimately understand if you resist these pressures in order to prioritize your financial health and overall wellbeing.

If your debt is spiraling out of control, do not hesitate to meet with an attorney experienced in matters of debt relief in order to make a plan of action. If your debt has not yet reached a crisis point, you may be able to navigate it on your own for now. When budgeting for the holiday season, do not forget to account for everyday expenses, extra mouths to feed if you are hosting a celebration and your regular debts. Also take into account any end-of-year debts that may need to be addressed before the end of December or the end of January.

Source: The Detroit News, “Don’t let debt ruin your holiday season,” AJ Smith, Nov. 30, 2014