The holiday season is just around the bend and many Louisiana residents are already stressing over the expenses they know they will face when entertaining relatives and friends, purchasing gifts and traveling. Nothing can put a damper on holiday cheer quite like credit card debt. It is difficult to celebrate knowing there will not be a way to pay off the credit card when the bill comes due.

There are several things consumers can do to try to avoid racking up high debt during the holidays. The first is to write out a budget plan. While many people focus their spending thoughts on buying gifts, there is a lot more to holiday spending, including food, wrapping supplies, decorations and perhaps even new clothing; traveling from house to house also means filling the gas tank more than usual, which adds to personal expenses. Writing and sticking to a budget plan can help keep costs low.

If the plan is to use a credit card for holiday shopping, it is always best to set a specific amount. Problems often arise when consumers start using credit as cash, paying no mind to the high, unpaid balance that accrues along the way. It is often more difficult than imagined to satisfy such debt.

There are, of course, many other causes of credit card debt besides spending during the holidays. In fact, many Louisiana consumers run into trouble when using their credit cards to pay medical bills or to help make ends meet at home after losing their jobs. The good news is that there are often several options available to help get things back on track, including restructured payment plans and several options for bankruptcy protection. A debt relief attorney can provide guidance and support to those who are currently facing serious financial problems.