By Ana Bottary

abottary@abc6.com

@anabottary

Can you afford to shop this holiday season? This is a question many are finding themselves asking.

According to a study by roadsnacks.org, if you are a Rhode Islander, you can't. Rhode Island residents earn the 8th lowest incomes and have the 18th most credit card debt. ABC6 News asked shoppers if this will affect their holiday shopping.
 
"I personally believe retail therapy works for everybody. I think we should be shopping. It helps the state, it helps the economy, it helps the retail workers," says shopper, Kelli Legendre.
 
"I have grandchildren, so I will always spend money on them," adds shopper Debra Lowe.

Others swear off credit cards all together.

"If I can't afford something, I don't buy it. I can't see adding bills to the ones I already have," says another shopper.

Certified Financial Planner, Angela Thompson, says the statics are not surprising to her, but she does have advice to help shoppers budget this year.
 
"If you have a budget limit of 50 dollars, then that is where you stay. Regardless of "oh this is on sale." It's 60 dollars and it's 20 percent off? You are still spending 60 dollars," says Thompson.

She says if you are financing something, do not defer payments. Interest will add up and you'll end up spending a lot more than you anticipated. She says it is important to know who you are buying for.

"If you are not sure if you are going to see someone or not, buy a 20 dollar gift card. Put three or four gift cards in your pocket and wrap them up in little decorative envelopes and then if you see someone, give one to them," she adds.

Thompson tells shoppers to be aware of free online shipping. She says that just because you're not paying for the shipping does not mean you are getting a good deal, and that most of the time you can find better deals in the stores.

Massachusetts comes in just a little below Rhode Island at number three, whose average income ranks 19th lowest, and 16th in credit card debt.

© WLNE-TV 2015