Managing Holiday Debt

Every year around mid-January it happens, we get reminded of all those purchases we made over the holiday season as the credit card bills start to come in. After the holidays you may find yourself with a lot of debt. It always seems that no matter how hard we try we always spend more money than we wanted to at the holidays. Getting this debt paid off should be your priority for the New Year.

Make a list of your holiday credit card debt. Make sure that you put all the debt you accumulated during the holiday season. This will help you to face what you have so that you can have a plan of action to get it paid off in a timely manner. Facing the debit is the first step to getting rid of it.

Make changes in your spending habits so that you can push some of that money to paying off your debts. The best way to accomplish this is to make another list of the things you spend money on each month. Things such as expensive coffee can be reduced and that extra money can go to pay off the holiday debt you have.

Clean out your closet and try to sell those items you do not use. You might be surprised as to the amount of money you can raise to send directly to the credit card company to get your balances reduced. Make sure that you part with those things that are sitting around and haven’t been touched in years.

If you aren’t able to pay off the balance right away, there may be some options you can try to save you a little money down the road. Sometimes you can find one credit card with a lower interest rate that you can do a balance transfer on. For small to medium debts, sometimes this can be a great way to get a handle on things. Combining a bunch of smaller higher interest debts into one lower interest debt can usually not only help to keep things organized, but may save you money in the long term as well. Even if it is five or ten dollars, try to always pay more than the minimum. If you feel that you can budget even five dollars over your minimum monthly payments do so.

Contact your service providers. Sometimes all you have to do is ask. You may be able to get a promotional rate with your household bills such as gas and electric, and you can then use the money you save to put towards your credit and debts.

Finally, use your experience from this past holiday season for next time. Begin planning now for 2014 Christmas. Use Boxing Week sales to get gifts for the next holiday season. Pick up gifts during the year as you see them on sale. And most importantly, start saving now for Christmas. Putting away $10-$25 a pay will go a long way when it comes to shopping for Christmas 2014. You won’t have to put anything on credit when you go and spend next time.

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