Even though the holidays are not over yet, you may need to start making plans to pay off debts. Whether you were too generous or scored too many deals for yourself, the debt still needs to be dealt with. Learn how to manage credit card debt and pay off holiday debt.
Managing Holiday Debt After the Fun
There are several steps you can start taking once you realize you have gotten in over your head with holiday debt. Some may be more difficult than others, but you can do it! Here are 4 ways to pay off debt that you can start immediately.
- Get control of your finances. It’s important to have a baseline when you start managing credit card debt. Evaluate all your holiday debt, current expenses, income and come up with a new budget. Remember to do the following for your budget:
- Include all expenses
- Include all income
- Find areas you can cut to put more money towards debt so you pay more than the minimum payment
- Create the budget for the month but check in weekly or biweekly
- Go on a shopping freeze. This might be difficult after spending lots of time shopping and with the buzz of sales still in the air. However, anything that is not essential to your life must remain in the store. Think food and shelter. Clothing if you truly, truly need it. A spending freeze is always tough, but you will be able to pay off debt faster using this strategy.
- Return unwanted gifts. Take action and control of your debt by turning gifts that you do not need or do not want into money. This unexpected “income” will help you pay off debt. The money or store credit you receive from the return can be used for something else. If you get cash back, apply it to your debt. Use store credit to offset some of your budget expenses.
- Find extra income. Finally, try earning extra income to throw at your debt. The more resources you can use, the faster your debt will be reduced. This means less interest you will have to pay out to your credit card company. Extra income may be as simple as babysitting, working extra hours at your job, or selling things online.
Managing credit card debt from holiday shopping can seem overwhelming. Try implementing these steps to help pay off debts quickly.
To speak to a credit counselor today about budgeting and managing your finances, call 800-769-3571.