Some years, we go a little overboard during the holidays. If you have overspent this year, holiday credit card debt may pile up.
By Bitsy McCann
If your savings account is looking a little questionable moving into the new year, follow a few simple steps to regain control of your finances and recover from holiday debt. From cutting spending to learning how to pay off holiday debt, we have you covered.
Before you can reduce holiday debt (and eventually eliminate it), you must organize your finances. Look at the numbers, make a plan, and stick with it.
- First things first: look at your accounts. How much do you have, and how much do you owe? Look at your checking account, savings account(s) and all your credit cards. Write down the numbers and determine how much you owe.
- Consider a new budget to help with your debt repayment plan. What does your budget currently look like? Where can you make some cuts? Try to limit your spending so that you can pay off your debt as quickly as possible. If you need help trying to figure it all out, consider utilizing our Members 1st Concierge service, a members-only resource that matches you with a personal concierge—your go-to for all things financial-related.
- Hold yourself accountable. Make sure you are paying your bills on time and consider setting up automated payments. Review your finances every month to see your progress and what you might be able to improve upon. Do not give up! Keep paying off that debt, even if you know it is going to take some time.
5 Tips to Save Money
In addition to repaying your debt, you can do some additional things to save some money along the way.
- Go on a spending freeze. To free up additional funds, go on a spending freeze for one or two weeks. Try a month-long no spend challenge if you can. For the next few weeks, do not purchase anything that is not absolutely necessary.
- Sell or return unwanted gifts. We know how this sounds, but if you will never use the item, why not sell it? Facebook Marketplace is a great option for selling a gift you do not need. However, make sure you are only there to sell items—not buy them!
- Unsubscribe and uninstall. Do you often purchase items that come up in your emails or on your apps? If so, unsubscribe from those emails and remove those apps. You will have a much lower impulse to buy something you do not need if you no longer see those ads!
- Consolidate your debt. If one or more of your credit cards have high balances, transfer your debt to one of our Visa credit cards. With a balance transfer at a low introductory rate, you will spend less on interest in the long run.
- Start saving for next year. Once your debt is paid off, start saving for next year. Consider opening a Goal Savings Account or a Holiday Club Account to help meet your savings goals. Then, do your very best to stick to that budget when next year’s holiday season arrives. That way, you can skip all of that after-the-holiday debt stress.
If you need help paying off debt or developing a savings strategy, our faM1ly would love to help. Contact us when you are ready to make a financial change.