January dubbed, "get your finances in order," month - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

January dubbed, "get your finances in order," month

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

The holidays of 2013 are over, but experts said the debt many Americans racked up isn't.

Experts are calling January, "put your house in financial order," month.

Shopper Candy Olson said, "I used to do a lot of retail buying for Christmas, lavish buying."

The 70-year-old said she started going for homemade gifts, instead and left the plastic at home.

Olson said, "I just realized it wasn't going to be affordable for me to retire."

Experts said the average American household is in the same boat. Credit card debt cripples finances in the U.S. every year. In 2013, Americans raked up over 15 thousand dollars of it on average per household.

But experts said there's a way to get the spending under control."

Brian Steinfeld, Regional Banking District Manager said, " Know where your money is going. Start saving a little. Set up separate account or a rainy day fund."

He also said sit down with a banker if you can; it's not all doom and gloom.

Steinfield said, "If you're paying off high interest debt on four or five credit cards, roll that into a low interest personal loan. It can save you hundreds of dollars per month."

For Olson, though, saving is about more than money; it's peace of mind.

Olson said, "I'm proof positive that peace of mind is a really good thing and you can go to bed at night knowing you don't owe anyone anything."

A Wells Fargo survey said  1 in 3 people feel like they're saving more than they did a few years ago, but 1 in 5 still don't feel like they're financially ready for an emergency.

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