Possibly preparing for this year’s holiday shopping binge, South Floridians have been whittling away at their credit-card debt.
The average credit-card balance of Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade County consumers fell 17 percent in September, to $4,470 from $5,364 from a year earlier, according to consumer website CreditKarma.com.
"Credit card debt is decreasing because people continue to be more responsible and not overspend," said Credit Karma CEO Ken Lin.
Indeed, Many South Floridians have been keeping a lid on debt since the Great Recession, even as the three counties’ economies have continued to improve, said economist William B. Stronge, a professor emeritus at Florida Atlantic University.While reduced spending helps consumers improve their financial health, it means they’re also spending less at local businesses, Stronge said.
“It’s good for the individual, but may not be good for the community,” he said.
In the long run, however, South Florida is better off with people not overspending, said Matt Saneholtz, a Plantation financial planner who is on the board of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale.
“I think it is great that people seem to be living more within their means,” Saneholtz said.
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