PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Spending can wreak havoc on a family budget. Many of us simply don’t stick to one during the holidays.
But now a new tool claims it can help whip us into “financial fitness” and stay within our means.
After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with a few weeks left to go, will all that Christmas holiday spending push you over your budget?
“Always. Every year,” Debbie Kukieza of Apollo said. “Every year at the last minute, I’m always finding something else to buy.”
Many say they set a budget, but that doesn’t always mean much.
“A woman, I like to shop,” said Jackie Fuga of Mt. Washington, “so yes, I have a hard time sticking to the budget.”
“I think people start out thinking they have a budget and tend to go a little over the budget,” said tom Coyne of Munhall, “but I’m a guy, so I do that anyhow.”
Enter a new financial tool from an online service called WalletHub, designed to help you – for free – avoid year-end debt.
“This year, we’re on track to end the year with more than $60,000,000,000 in additional debt,” said Jill Gonzalez of WalletHub.
Christmas spending accounts for a lot of that.
Gonzalez says they’ve designed a FitBit for your wallet. After you enter into identifying information, it links your credit history from TransUnion.
“It allows you free access to your latest credit score and full credit report at any time,” she said. “We then use advanced algorithms to help improve your credit score, find savings, or protect your credit from unusual activity or, of course, the combination of the three. So we really help you set goals with what you want to do with your financial life.”
Especially during the holidays.
“It really crunches the numbers and gives you a really bulletproof monthly spend or monthly budget,” Gonzalez said.
So how legit is this new product from WalletHub? KDKA ran it by one of this area’s financial advisors, Carrie Coghill.
“Any product that can help an individual set some sort of guideline for their spending is a great starting point,” she said.
Coghill likes it but notes holiday spending can be subjective. Still, it’s a help maybe we all can use.
“Come January, my credit cards are never my friends,” said Julie Amsdell of Port Vue.