How to quickly and affordably repay holiday debt
As the holiday season dies down, many people in Atlanta and throughout the U.S. will now be taking a closer look at their holiday spending. According to a survey from the American Research Group, Americans were expected to spend about $650, on average, for holiday gifts this year. Because many people likely paid for their presents with credit cards, it is now time to come up with a plan to get your credit card debt paid off and start 2012 on a clean financial slate.
Here are a few tips for repaying your holiday debt:
First, stop spending. Buy only necessities until your debt is eliminated.
Second, make a list of everything you spent during the holiday shopping season. Itemize every line on your credit card bill, and categorize all of your expenses. Don’t just include gifts in your spending tally, but also holiday décor, food, entertaining, travel, and other expenses. Keep this list for next year so you will know about how much you can expect to spend.
Third, come up with a monthly budget and determine how much you can afford to pay on your bills every month. Make every effort to pay more than the minimum amount due each month in order to make a significant dent in your bill.
Fourth, look into consolidation. Look for credit card offers that come with zero percent interest on balance transfers, and think about transferring your existing debt to a new card. Just make sure to read offers carefully so you’re not stuck with an annual fee or a high interest rate once the promotional period ends.
With these tips, you should be able to eliminate your holiday debt in no time.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, “6 Ways to Destroy Holiday Debt,” Wise Bread, Dec. 19, 2011