(WKBN) – Did you overspend this holiday? If your finances are feeling out of control, you are not alone. Millions of Americans have more debt now than when the pandemic started. So, we have a few tips from a local financial advisor on how to get some of your finances under control.

According to Bankrate.com, 42 percent of adults with credit card debt have increased their balances since the pandemic began, and nearly half of them said it was directly caused by the pandemic.

“I’m not a big believer in credit cards. I feel that if you can’t live out of your bank account, you have a spending problem,” said Tim Petrey, a certified public accountant.

Petrey has been working in finance for more than a decade and has some tips for anyone struggling with a budget.

Step 1: Look at what you spend your money on and figure out what your priorities are.

“My wife and I sit down. We export all of the information out of the bank account of what we spent money on this year,” Petrey said.

Step 2: Make a plan.

“It’s not just about cutting expenses. I’m a firm believer that you got to live your life. Some people say, ‘Don’t ever go to Starbucks and get the expensive cup of coffee and don’t go on vacation.’ But realistically, you only get one life to live,” Petrey said.

Step 3: Stick to the plan.

“It’s not sexy. It’s super boring. It’s just an accumulation of tiny, little, positive decisions,” Petrey said.

Using your tax return to pay off debt is another popular option, but parents who received their child tax credit during the year will have smaller returns this year.

“Because you got [an] advanced sum of those credits you would normally receive on your tax return,” Petrey said.

There is a new IRS rule to do with transactions of $600 or more on services like Venmo and Cash App, but you don’t need to worry about that for the current tax season. That rule will apply for your 2022 taxes that you file in 2023, but it’s not a bad idea to start keeping track of those transactions.