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Holiday hangover: Credit card statements for holiday shopping cause buyer’s remorse

Pennsylvania – December credit card statements are likely arriving in mailboxes across the country this week and it may leave some consumers with holiday shopping remorse.

ConsumerAffairs.com surveyed which states had the worst “holiday hangover” and were regretting the amount of money they spent at Christmastime.

West Virginia made the top of the hangover list, followed by Alabama and Rhode Island. Vermont resident were the least likely to say they regretted their holiday spending. Pennsylvania, by the way, ranked about in the middle of the list of states, at number 24.

Starting the new year with some financial anxiety? You’re not alone. Nationwide, about 23% of consumers feel like they overspent on holiday shopping last year. Here are some tips to alleviate your financial anxiety if you’re entering 2020 with budgeting regrets.

1. Make a plan for next year: Don’t wait until December to find funds for Christmas presents. Set aside money throughout the year for holiday expenses, then buy gifts during sales or using discount codes. If you want to draw a hard line on holiday spending, you might even rearrange your “Naughty and Nice” list to buy fewer gifts next year.

Avoid extra costs by setting a budget for holiday-related expenses outside of gifts, such as travel, food and entertainment. Gas money and buying dinner for the family may not feel like presents, but they add up in costs.

2. Get gifts through contests and surveys: One of our survey respondents in Indiana gave us this idea, so we’ll let them explain: “I actually purchased my gifts by winning contests, filling out surveys and trying and rating products. I won an awesome poker set from Skoal tobacco worth $150 — my nephew loved it.”

3. Look for easy-to-customize items: If you have a lot of people to buy for and you’re running low on inspiration, try customizing simple gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list. For example, one of our survey respondents in South Carolina bought custom paint-by-number sets that featured their family photo for Christmas gifts this past year.

4. Give the gift of handmade: Handmade gifts have a sentimental value that gift cards just can’t match. Break out your knitting needles or enroll in a pottery-making class to create one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones.

5. Consider balance transfer cards: If you’re struggling with credit card debt, you can reduce your payments with a balance transfer credit card. Turning several payments into one bill can also help you avoid high interest rates. Overspent holiday shoppers should consider balance transfers if they’re searching for an alternative to paying multiple balances at once.