There was nearly $15 trillion in consumer spending through the fourth fiscal quarter of last year.

"You would think that 2023 would have been the year of, 'hey, I better be careful about spending and looking at my bottom line.' That has not been the case," said Michael Lomas, co-president of The Financial Guys.

As we see just about every winter, many people find themselves in a bit of a financial hole after gearing up for the holidays or when they're prepping for the early part of the new year.

"We can all find most people, it's not a money problem. It's a budgeting problem," said Lomas. "I'm guilty of it, right? We sign up for a gym that we don't use and we forget about the membership, right?"

The good news is, there's hope.

"The joke is that people spend more time planning a vacation every year than they do their financial planning," Lomas said.

It takes one or two major decisions, just ask Catherine Whalen with one of her new favorite books. She hasn't been budgeting with a program for more than a year, remembering the day she decided to.

"One day at work, I had gotten paid on Thursday, paid all of my bills from that one paycheck," said Whalen. "And then by Monday, I had $80 in my account for two weeks. And I was just like, I can't live my life like this anymore. I'm so stressed out all the time, even though all my bills are paid, but I can't do this."

Like a lot of things these days, some YouTube videos, a couple of explanations and she was hooked, strides forward for situations many of us have found ourselves in.

"I never really learned how to budget growing up or how to even really like not to live paycheck to paycheck," she said. "And that's nobody's fault. Like, it's just what it was."

The road, although working for her, was not exactly lined with roses.

"I avoided looking at bank statements closely. I shut my eyes when my credit card statements came. I didn't want to count the number of items or see the dollar amount," Whalen read aloud. "They weren't just numbers in line items. They were tiny little reminders of my own flaws."

It might not be the most pleasant experience to start, but just take some time to find out what kind of program works for you.

"You go through three months of your expenses. And I will tell you, that was horrific," she said. "It's a scary moment when you go in there and you've changed the way that you really have done things. I've lived in my house for three years, but I've been working since I was 16, so I've always had money to be responsible for. And now, years later, I'm just taking responsibility."

It means hope for not just Catherine or the people who come in to see financial advisors.

"When we do these stories every year, a lot of times it's doom and gloom and, you know, all my everybody's going into credit card debt," said Lomas. "I believe 90% of the people that are living beyond their means can put together a budget, can look and find and identify places that they can sort of trim a little bit."

"You just have to face the reality of your situation. And that is horrifying," said Whalen. "There are a lot of tears. Take in everything, embrace the emotions, ride the roller coaster and you'll get yourself there."