Only half of us with holiday debt are expected to pay it off by March.
That's according to Magnify Money, a finance website. If you only make the minimum payments on that credit card, it will take years and likely hundreds of dollars in interest to pay off. Research shows nearly 75 percent of us underestimate costs. Why do we go overboard?
"Because the credit cards don't feel real. You don't see the statement until it comes back and you just keep swiping. Everyone knows cash, knows the meaning of cash, we've been raised on cash and when it leaves your hands, it feels like you spent $100. When you spend it on a card, you don't really feel like you spend $100 and that's where it gets overblown," said Robert Baltzell with RLB Financial.
Here are the top three purchases that put folks over budget
-last minute gifts
-holiday outfits and decorations
Experts say make a list. Consider a Secret Santa or other cheap gift exchanges. No impulse purchases. Those get you in trouble. When it comes to food, plan ahead. Budget when you eat on the go. That holiday decor will be cheaper on December 26.