Credit card debt is a Grinch: Financial expert

MARIA: IT IS THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR BUT ALSO THE MOST EXPENSIVE 15% OF AMERICANS ARE STILL PAYING OFF LAST YEAR'S HOLIDAY DEBT WHICH AVERAGED $1,054

P JOINING US RIGHT NOW IS RAMSEY SOLUTIONS FINANCIAL EXPERT AND AUTHOR OF THE UPCOMING WORK, EVERYDAY MILLIONAIRES, HOGAN THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US >> THANK YOU MARIA: WE WANT TO BUY PRESENTS THIS HOLIDAY WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS WE CAN SAVE AND NOT GET TOO FAR INTO DEBT, CHRIS? >> MARIA, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO REMAIN IN CONTROL

YOU KNOW, YOU DON'T WANT TO LET THE HOLIDAYS MAKE YOU CRAZY SO STAY IN CONTROL I'VE GOT FOUR TIPS FOR PEOPLE NUMBER ONE, TALLY UP WHAT YOU'VE SPENT SO FAR A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SHOPPING THROUGHOUT THE YEAR FOR CHRISTMAS

SO BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU'VE ALREADY BOUGHT, WHAT YOU'VE ALREADY SPENT I REALLY WANT YOU TO STAY HE FOCUSED AND STICK TO YOUR BUDGET THIS IS WHERE YOU ASSIGN A DOLLAR AMOUNT THE NEXT TIP IS USE CASH CASH HELPS YOU REMAIN IN CONTROL

IT HELPS YOU TO UNDERSTAND YOUR LIMITS IF YOU'RE GOING TO SPEND $100 ON YOUR BROTHER FOR CHRISTMAS, WHEN THAT $100 IS GONE, YOU STOP THE NEXT TIP IS AVOID THE STORE CREDIT CARDS THESE THINGS ARE SNEAKY, MARIA, AND THEY'RE A THIEF IT'S AMAZING THAT THEY'LL OFFER 10% OFF THAT DAY, BUT CHARGE YOU 24% EVERY OTHER DAY

SO AVOID THAT AND THEN FINALLY, 22% OF AMERICANS BUY GIFTS FOR THEMSELVES WHEN THEY'RE SHOPPING FOR OTHERS SO DON'T BUY FOR YOURSELF EVERY TIME YOU GO OUT SHOPPING MARIA: I CAN'T NOT DO THAT >> I KNOW

MARIA: I ALWAYS BUY MYSELF A GIFT DAGEN: IF YOUR PERFECT VOICE, I WANT YOU TO SING THE FOLLOWING LINE, YOU'RE A MEAN ONE, MR GRINCH YOU'RE GRINCHING ON THE HOLIDAY, CHRIS >> I AM NOT DOING THAT

NO, I'M NOT SINGING BUT HERE'S THE THING CREDIT CARD DEBT IS A GRINCH CREDIT CARD DEBT IS THE THING THAT WILL STEAL YOUR JOY AND IT WILL CAUSE YOU TO BE TRYING TO PAY OFF CHRISTMAS FOR TWO TO THREE HOLIDAYS FROM NOW SO JUST TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND UNDERSTAND THE REAL REASON FOR THE SEASON

IT'S ABOUT FAMILY IT'S ABOUT FRIENDS IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU SPEND IT'S NOT HOW MUCH YOU BUY FOR YOURSELF SO LET'S GO INTO THIS HOLIDAY WITH CLARITY

BE AWARE, REMAIN IN CONTROL, AND DON'T BRING DEBT INTO YOUR LIFE MARIA: ALL RIGHT YOU CAN'T BLAME US FOR TRYING YOU HAVE AN INCREDIBLE VOICE, CHRIS >> WELL, MAYBE THE NEXT TIME I'M IN STUDIO I'LL SING