The Christmas season can be a joyful time for some, but for others it's a financial burden that comes once a year, and sticks around for the year to come. Residents around Albany say although it may be a happy season, it can turn cold quickly.
"They don't think about the months to come, they spend all of their money in December, and then they don't pay rent in January," said Albany resident, Takia Rice.
And those that manage finances for a living say, Christmas spending comes down to two simple steps. Moderation and budgeting.
"That's what we run into a lot, is that people will budget for presents, and in reality they should be saving that money, not spending it on presents," said financial consultant, Victor Sullivan IV.
Other shoppers throughout southwest Georgia say they've found their own techniques to keep Christmas spending under control.
"I personally shop in the summer, or all year round, so it's not such a big hit come January," said Albany resident, Jackie Webb.
And Webb says there's one way to make sure you stay out of debt.
"If you can't afford it, don't buy it," said Webb.