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Does going overboard at Christmas always end with drowning in debt? p2

We have just a few more days to restrain ourselves from buying everything we and our loved ones have always wanted -- and getting it all at never-before-seen, low low prices, while supplies last! The Christmas sales will soon give way to the after Christmas sales, but, for most of us, the pressure will be off by the 26th.

For those of us who have trouble controlling our spending, the next few days can be the hardest. Remember, compulsive shoppers are never done with their shopping. There is always something else to buy, and with the Chicago Premium Outlets just a 20-minute drive away, depending on traffic, there are still plenty of opportunities to overspend.

Are you a shopping addict? We can't make that call, but we can share information about some behaviors that may indicate a shopping problem. Debtors Anonymous put together a "debt quiz" that we started to review in our last post.

Here are a few more things to think about from the quiz, starting where we left off:

3. People who cannot pay their bills but continue to shop will quickly find themselves in trouble. There are people who are so short on funds that they will put off paying the rent or the utility bill but will not put off hitting a sale at Macy's.

4. The person who pays with credit cards rather than cash may be on a slippery slope. Paying off one credit card by borrowing from another is definitely a warning sign that spending is out of control.

5. Shopping addicts don't just buy more than they need; they buy more than they could possibly ever need. Their closets are full of clothes that have never been worn. UPS packages go unopened for months -- often past the deadline for returns.

So, spend carefully and try to keep the long-term consequences of impulsive purchases in mind. And, if you find yourself unable to handle the debt a few months from now, consider contacting a debt relief attorney for help.

Source: CNBC, "Debt addiction: Red is not the new black. Shopaholics beware," DaVida Plummer, July 7, 2014

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