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December consumer spending highest since 2008

Jan 27, 2014 Quinn Thomas

With the holiday season in full swing, it shouldn't be a surprise that consumer spending picked up in December. However, according to Gallup, Americans spent an average of $96 per day in the final month of 2013, which was the highest level in five years.

Higher spending levels are a good sign for the economy, but consumers could be putting themselves at risk of future financial troubles. As a result, short term lending demand may rise in the first couple months of 2014.

Holiday shoppers don't always account for the possibility of future unexpected expenses and end up stretching the budget too far. So, when a surprise cost does hit, some may find themselves at risk of falling short on essential expenses, which can lead to costly late fees and penalties.

Short term lending can prevent this from happening, as people can secure funds quickly to help stay current on bills. Critics of this type of lending say the high fees and interest rates are unfair, but the total cost of obtaining a short term loan is often less than what is charged for missing a bill payment.