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TROUBLESHOOTERS: Tips to stay out of debt as pandemic restrictions lift

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(HOI) -- After months of being at home calendars are filling up with trips and nights on the town, but that can lead to financial trouble.

A recent Lending Tree survey asked about 2,200 people about their upcoming spending.

Here are a few of the results:

-Nearly half said they were at least somewhat likely to go into debt this summer.

-21 percent said they're very likely to incur debt

-26 percent answered somewhat likely.

Matt Schulz, Chief Credit Analyst at Lending Tree, said he was surprised at how many people are willing to go into debt.

"It’s understandable that you’re ready to go out and spend and splurge…The last thing you want is for that time to send you into a couple months of debt,” said Schulz. 

According to the survey, the generations that expect to borrow are millennials and Generation Z.

As far as what people plan to spend their money on, travel takes the top spot followed by clothes and eating out. 

“It’s really important to maintain a budget so you understand how much money is coming in end going out of your household each month and it’s important to carve out some of that money for fun money,” added Schulz. 

“Planning to go into debt is financial suicide, especially if it’s for those wants and not those needs. Don't be emotional about your spending kind of like well I've been cooped up and I haven't been able to do anything so I'm going to spend unbridled. That can lead to a lot of future issues so you want to allocate your money."

Nicholas Royer, President of Group10 Financial, says you should itemize what you want to do and budget ahead of time so you can control your spending. 

He added 70% of Americans don’t designate where their money is going. 

“Start with a basic budget. Do it every month, readjust it every month and if you want to look at it for 15 minutes at the end of the week that’s fine, but just start with some place. The journey of a 1,000 miles starts with the very first step,” said Royer. 

Schulz said people have been willing to spend more to try and make up for the hard year. 

“We saw it starting at Halloween where we saw people said they were going to spend a little more to make it up to their kids for how bad the year has been. We saw it at Christmas and we’re certainly seeing it now in terms of travel and things like that and I think we’re going to see it more and more over the next few months,” added Schulz. 

If you’re in financial trouble, Royer encouraged you to leave those credit cards alone and pay in cash if you can. Another suggestion is to follow the two day rule.

If you still think it’s a good financial decision after that, then consider it further.

However some people still find themselves in the red quickly. 

Royer said, “If you do go over then take that credit care and throw it in the safe. Don’t use it anymore and then whatever you were ordinarily paying double that payment until that credit card gets paid off. Just don’t keep mounting it.” 

“One of the most important things you can do is call your credit card issuer and ask them to lower your interest rate. It may sound like something that won’t go anywhere, but the truth is people are more successful then people realize."

For the full Lending Tree survey click here.

Jessica Cook

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