Ah, the holidays. The time of year when we gather with family and friends to celebrate, exchange gifts, and eat far too much delicious food.
But now that January has arrived and all the festivities are over, you may be left wondering how you’re going to pay off all your holiday spending.
If this is a familiar feeling for you each year, don’t worry, it doesn’t have to stay that way. We know how easy it is to fall into debt during the holidays, but there are ways to break free from it and make sure next year isn’t such a financial burden.
In this guide, we’ll discuss tips for preparing for holiday spending in advance as well as strategies for paying off any existing holiday debt quickly and efficiently.
1. Get a Head Start on Next Year’s Shopping
The best way to avoid falling into holiday debt is to plan ahead. Start by setting a budget for next year as early as possible, and start putting money away throughout the year in an account specifically designated for holiday shopping. This will help you stay on track during the holidays and ensure that you’re not spending more than you can afford.
2. Pay With Cash Whenever Possible
When shopping for holiday gifts, it’s always a good idea to pay with cash whenever possible. Not only will this help you stick to your budget, but it also prevents any unexpected charges from appearing on your credit card statement due to overspending.
3. Make a List and Stick To It
Making a list of all the gifts you need to purchase is essential for staying on budget during the holidays. Before you start shopping, make sure to write down each item, who it’s for, and what its price range is. Then, when you’re in the store, be sure to stick to your list and only buy what you absolutely need.
4. Utilize Credit Card Rewards
If you don’t have enough cash saved up to cover all of your holiday expenses, using a credit card can be a great way to help pay for them. Just make sure to use a card that offers rewards or points so you can get something in return for your spending.
My favorite is Citibank Cashback Rewards credit card and here’s how you can apply if you’re interested.
5. Create a Payment Plan For Your Debt
If you do find yourself in debt after the holidays, don’t panic. The best way to tackle it is to create a payment plan and make it a priority to pay off as much of your debt as possible each month. Set aside an amount of money that you can afford to put towards your debt each month, and then make sure to stick to it.
8 TIPS TO PAY OFF HOLIDAY DEBT
The holiday season has come and gone, but the bills are still coming in. If you find yourself struggling to pay off your holiday debt, don’t worry – there are ways to get back on track and make sure it doesn’t happen again next year. Here are some tips for paying off any existing holiday debt quickly and efficiently so you can start the new year with a clean slate.
1. Transfer Your Balance to a 0% APR Credit Card
One way to pay off your holiday debt is to transfer the balance from your current card to one with a 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR). This will give you some breathing room, as you won’t have any interest accruing on your balance while you’re paying it off.
2. Create a Debt Snowball
If you can’t find a 0% APR card, another option is to create a debt snowball by focusing on paying off the smallest balance first. This will help you stay motivated as you work your way up to paying off the larger balances.
3. Consider Balance Transfer Credit Cards
If you’re not interested in taking out a personal loan, another option is to transfer your balance to a balance transfer credit card. These cards offer low introductory APRs for a specific amount of time, usually ranging between six and 18 months.
4. Take Out a Personal Loan
Personal loans can be used to consolidate multiple credit card balances into one monthly payment at a fixed rate loan which could reduce your total payments; however, this should be done cautiously as it ultimately increases the total repayment amount due since the loan usually has a longer term than most credit cards do – meaning more interest paid over the life of the loan – so be sure to compare offers carefully before signing on the dotted line!
5. Negotiate with Your Credit Card Company
If you’re struggling to make payments and keep up with your debt, consider calling your credit card company and asking for a lower interest rate or a payment plan that fits better into your budget. Most companies are more than willing to work out an arrangement if it means getting their money back.
6. Get a Part-Time Job
One way to pay off your holiday debt is to take on a part-time job. This can be a great way to make some extra money that you can use towards paying off your debts while still allowing you to keep up with your regular commitments.
7. Make Extra Payments
If you have some extra money each month, consider making an extra payment towards your holiday debt. This will reduce the total amount of interest you’ll pay and help you get out of debt faster. Just make sure to double-check that there are no penalties for paying off your balance early before doing so.
8. Seek Professional Help
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your debt, it might be time to seek professional help. Consider visiting a credit counseling agency or speaking with a financial advisor to get some guidance on how to best tackle your holiday debt. It can be difficult to do it alone, so having someone there to support you can make the process much easier.
It’s important to remember that debt can be a very real problem and it is best to try and avoid getting into holiday debt in the first place. By learning from our mistakes this year and planning ahead for the next, we can make sure that our holidays are both merry and debt-free!