It’s hard to believe that summer has nearly arrived, but here we are, with the end of the school year and vacation season just around the corner.

We typically think of vacations as the source of precious memories. And they often are, but they also come with a heavy price, quite literally. As a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve seen many families whose summer travels are closely intertwined with their debt.

Many Americans overspend on vacations.

If you overspend on vacations, the good news and bad news is that you’re not alone.

  • 74% of Americans have gone into debt for a vacation.
  • In one survey, those who went into debt for a vacation accumulated more than $1100, on average.
  • In another survey of 1,000 adults, more than two-thirds reported overspending on vacation.

Credit Card Debt Has Reached an All-Time High

Credit cards are the most used method of payment on vacations, which reflects a broader trend in consumer spending—one that, quite frankly, I’m worried about as a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer.

In 2017, credit card debt hit a new high, according to data released by the New York Fed. US household debt had grown to a record $13 trillion, and credit card balances grew by $24 billion.

Consumer debt has been growing steadily since 2012 and shows no signs of stopping. Debts on auto loans and credit cards are climbing by more than 7% annually.

Set a Budget for Your Summer Travels

There’s never a good time to be in debt, but right now interest rates aren’t on our side. It’s critical to resist the temptation to overspend. My best advice is to set a budget and start saving accordingly. Research those deals on flights and hotels in advance.

Though I’ve met plenty of folks who find creative ways to start saving, it should not feel painful to make room for a vacation. If you are committed to traveling in the near future and you are willing to pick up extra shifts or a side gig, that’s great. But waiting until next summer is also always a great option.

Which brings me to my last and final point. This is something I tell folks struggling with debt, whether it’s vacation-related or not. Debt is not a problem you can get out of easily. Ignoring it doesn’t make it better. It’s a big problem and bankruptcy is a simple solution.

I often remind people that debt can happen to anyone, and as these recent trends go to show, it can happen to many Americans. If you’re drowning in debt, you are not alone. But you also have options and a way out. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows you to get rid of credit card debt without paying it back.

A good bankruptcy lawyer can help you get out of debt, improve your credit score, and get a fresh start. Throughout the past 30 years, as a Memphis bankruptcy lawyer, I’ve helped thousands of people get out of debt and turn their lives around. I can do the same for you.

If you have questions or concerns, we are happy to sit down and discuss your options at no cost. Contact us here or call (901) 327-2100 to get started today.