BECKLEY, WV (WVNS)–In a recent study done by Lending Tree, one-third of Americans took on an average of $1,500 in holiday debt this year. That is a 24 percent increase when compared to 2021.

According to Kyle Poling, Owner of Poling Wealth in Beckley, he said the problem centers around the current issues facing the American economy.

“What we’ve seen through inflation, interest rate increases, rising rents, food costs, etc., you start to see that widdle down and it seems that the consumers sort of getting increased pressure on them as they have started to use credit cards and other forms of debt,” Poling said.

While each issue contributes to the problem, Poling says the biggest reason is inflation.
This rise negatively impacts the amount of debt people take in, mostly because of how inflation impacts people’s savings.

“Inflation has just reduced people’s flexibility right so before maybe we had more savings to buffer some on those. As you started to see the economy start to tighten down, inflation increase, etc., your starting to see the consumer start to see that pinch a little bit,” Poling added.

Thankfully, if you did take in some holiday debt, there are several steps you can take to help alleviate the pressure. Poling told 59News that the best thing you can do is make a checklist and keep track of it each month.

“Have a concrete budget, actually write down the certain categories and how much you want to spend in those categories, and to keep yourself accountable…at the end of the month, see what you actually spent…more often than not, people are surprised about the little one-off items that add up,” Poling said.

Poling added if you need extra assistance with budget tracking, it would help to check with a financial advisor.