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18 to 34-year-olds make up the millennial generation. This group, as per Credible, says that "credit card debt (is) the biggest fear in their lives, even scarier than the threat of war, or even death." So why are they willing to dive into possible debt just to please their friends and family with gifts this holiday season? Was everyone all that nice?


According to Credible's recent holiday shopping survey of 500 millennials, "More than 70% of millennials plan to spend the same amount or more than they did last year on holiday shopping." And close to half of these 18-34-year-old have no clear shopping budget to follow. Although most surveyed plan to pay off their credit card bills right away, we all know that planning and what really happens are not always one in the same. Other expenses pop up and the interest grows on their credit card bills. Did old Aunt Edna really need that new crock pot?

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While the survey shows that 52.2% of these millennials plan to pay for holiday shopping with debit cards or cash and 20% plan to hit the registers with credit cards that they say they will pay off immediately, a good 16.2% say they also plan to use their AmEx or Visa and pay things off "over time." But when there is no budget to speak of and lots of holiday-fueled temptation in stores and online, all said planning can go out the festively-decorated window. And that is when the doom of debt can set in. Santa may bring the toys, but he is not known for paying off the mountains of bills of impulse-purchasing 27-year-olds.

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Credible suggests that millennials, or any shopper, for that matter, keep their holiday spending on track with these useful tips.

  • Set a spending limit
  • Carry cash
  • Take advantage of holiday sales
  • Prioritize paying off credit card debt

Using this sage financial advice can help shoppers mind their money so they stick to a plan and do not overspend… no matter how nifty a glittery display case may look. And no, you don't need another "ugly" Christmas sweater for this year's office party.

Are you in this 18-34 age bracket? Do you see yourself spending lots of money this season or will you reel it in and try to spend less? It is the thought that counts, after all, and there are plenty of low-cost gifts that are meaningful that can be picked up without breaking the bank in the process.

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While gift-giving is always thoughtful, starting off 2018 one foot in the hole is not the kind of New Year's resolution worth making. Happy holidays are about love and joy, no matter what the advertisements may lead you to believe.

To see the full results from Credible's recent survey, click here.

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Have a festive holiday season. Spend it with family and friends without spending all your hard-earned dough!

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I thought I had a pretty good handle on my finances out of school. I worked several jobs while attending university and had little to no problem managing my income. However, once I graduated, I realized how much more complicated personal accounting could really be.

There were so many variables I needed to keep track of. Biweekly bills, monthly charges, and general necessities amounted to a heap of confusing numbers that were often impossible to decipher. The funniest part was that I was actually trying to do this by hand (I don't know what I was trying to prove to myself, either).

After messing up for the 17th time, I decided to give Microsoft Excel a shot. I used Excel a bit in school and I knew all the big-wig finance people used it, so what could I possibly have to lose? The answer is about six hours of my precious time. Excel isn't much of an improvement over handwriting and it's still dependent on the user to manually input all of the information. It's like doing everything by hand with the slightest help, meaning that it still required a tremendous amount of time and concentration. Well that was all for nothing, I guess.

It's sort of funny. I was certain that I could manage my personal finances with ease, when it's practically a full-time job. I was already stressed out enough with my first job and I knew I didn't have enough time to give my finances the attention it deserved.

That's why I decided to try out a budgeting app. My best friend told me that he uses an app called Truebill to manage his finances. "What does it even mean to manage your finances?" I asked him. He told me that Truebill was the personal financial assistant I wished I could have. It could aggregate all of my account information into one place and give me specific insights and actions.

I loved the idea of having full control over my finances, especially during a time of financial uncertainty, and I realized that Truebill would be the easiest way to accomplish this. The user interface is incredibly simple and intuitive, so it doesn't even feel like a finance app! Truebill offers a multitude of features, with their most popular being the ability to cancel subscriptions with the press of a button.

Okay, I had no idea how many subscriptions I was still subscribed to. In fact, I wasn't even using a quarter of the subscription services I was signed up for. Subscription boxes, streaming services, my old gym, and even an old subscription to my favorite magazine--it was all there and I was livid. How could I let myself waste all of this money and how did I never catch this? Thank goodness for Truebill.

Truebill also offers bill negotiations. There is a 40% fee based on how much you save and Truebill even claims that there is an 85% chance that they'll be able to lower your bill once a negotiation is requested. Why wouldn't I take them up on this? There was zero risk and I would only have to pay once my bill was lowered (which means that I would be saving money regardless).

More standard features of Truebill include the ability to generate a credit report on-demand and even request a pay advance. I only used the pay advance feature once when I wanted to buy a gift for my mom, but didn't have enough cash in hand and Truebill automatically reimbursed itself when I got my next paycheck.

The credit report is another fantastic feature and practically taught me what good credit meant. Truebill's credit report basically shows you which financial decisions have the most significant impact on your credit score and ways that you can improve your credit month-over-month. I've never had such control over my credit and it feels good.

I'll be the first to admit that I was extremely naive coming out of school. I figured that as long as I was attentive, I could manage my finances with ease. We manage money to some extent throughout our entire lives, but once you're thrown out on your own, it's a completely different story. With Truebill, I've finally been able to take control over my finances and stay on top of all of my responsibilities.

Update: Our friends at Truebill are extending a special offer to our readers! Follow this link to sign-up for Truebill.