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'The best gift is being present' | Overcoming holiday debt this Christmas

The National Retail Federation expected consumers to spend about $1,000 on average for gifts and holiday items.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — "This is the one time of year that people tend to overspend because you want to get presents for everybody," Ja'Net Adams, money expert, said.

Giving and receiving gifts is one of the best parts of Christmas, but once the spirit of the season dwindles and the first of the month rolls, around many may panic seeing all those bills.

The National Retail Federation predicted the average consumer would spend nearly $1,000 on gifts and holiday items.

Adams said if you feel like you spent too much, you probably spent too much. If you're really in a bind, she suggested selling some stuff or taking an extra job.

Now is also the time to make a financial plan for 2022.

Adams recommends having at least $1,500 in your emergency fund. If you're debt free, have a year's worth of expenses saved up. If you've got that down, Adams said to start investing.

It's also not a bad idea to start planning for next Christmas.

"If you felt like you spent too much this year, look at what that number is, divide it into 12, and that will make it a lot easier for yourself next year," Adams said.

It's always smart to expect the unexpected and remember. Adams said no gift is worth being in debt.

"Understand its just a gift to be present, just to be here first and foremost. People who truly love you are going to love you with or without a gift," Adams said.

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