Don't let credit card debt be a scrooge

SEATTLE -- Holiday shopping is in full swing. Its a festive time when it gets real easy for consumers to throw down the plastic and think about paying the bills later.

David Devine, senior vice-president of Columbia Bank says now's the time to focus on managing your spending.

"What I like to employ is sort of an ounce of prevention approach to this." Devine said. "Start with a plan, budget up front what is you want to buy for gifts and how much you can spend."

A new survey from Lexington Law finds most adults take on holiday credit card debt to keep their kids happy. And, that many times parents will put off paying their credit card bill in order to save money to buy gifts, a big no-no says Devine.

"That's a dangerous game, you don't want to put off paying your bill at any time," Devine said. "You run the risk of long term damage to your credit. You should always pay on time and if you're struggling to do so, talk directly with the card company. Many times they will work with you. An example is that they can adjust your payment date on any given month to be more in line with when you get paid."