PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The numbers are our and we know holiday shopping was up.

We also know that many families are struggling financially, which means many use credit cards to cover holiday costs.

READ MORE: As Winter Storm System Moves In, Pittsburghers Pack Grocery Stores For Last-Minute Items

It’s the most magical time of the year, that is until the bills come and we realize the damage we’ve done.

So how do we get our finances back on track in 2022 after the holiday season comes to an end?

“Every financial decision is based on emotion and during the holidays we get really super-heated with emotions,” said Paul Oster.

Oster is from the credit repair firm “Better Qualified” says while many wanted to spoil family and friends this holiday season, that might have led to spoiled credit.

READ MORE: 1 Shot In Downtown Pittsburgh

“One in three Americans admittedly said they were going to put all this debt on a credit card and when you do that it starts to affect your credit score,” he explained. “Unfortunately, you have lots of consumers who didn’t pay off last year’s holiday debt. So, it becomes a real vicious cycle.”

Oster advises that the money was spent and now that the bills are here, it’s time to get real with how to recover.

“Unless you sit down, and put it on paper, take 20 minutes, people don’t take two minutes to figure out their household budget,” Oster said. “Take 20 minutes, figure out your household income, your expenses, and how you’re going to pay off this debt.”

He also says it’s never too early to prepare for the coming year.

“Believe it or not, planning for next year needs to start today,” he said. “The reality is we all live in this crisis mode every holiday season and we have this holiday hangover, ‘I can’t believe I spent that much, how did this happen?'”

MORE NEWS: Seven Springs Opens Faster, High-Capacity Chairlift

He suggests opening a separate holiday saving account now and as for the debt, make sure to pay more than the minimum payment.

Heather Abraham