The Holidays May Be over but the Debt Is Still Here

Updated: December 30, 2009

You can sort your bills by the highest balances OR you can sort by the highest interest rate and decide for yourself based on how much you can pay at a time, what is the best way for you to approach your credit card debt repayments. The highest interest first may be the best way to start unless the highest interest card is the lowest balance you have. Look over each bill statement and try to figure how much a month in charges it will accrue.

Once your credit card bills have been sorted you should list them in order of importance of who should get paid first. ALWAYS make the minimum payment on all the bills and apply extra money to the one that is first on the list and then work your way down on your list. You should try not to deviate from the financial plan that you have scheduled for yourself.

You can also cut back on some things that you typically spend on until you pay off all your holiday debt. Some things that you can cut back on are as follows:

  • Dining out (or use coupons offered by local restaurants)
  • Use more coupons for shopping for groceries
  • Buying coffee every morning (bring it from home)
  • Buying snacks and sodas (bring it from home and store at your desk)
  • Don't go out to movies and sports events
  • Adjust your thermostat when you're not home (use an automatic timer)
  • Car pool if you can to save gas or take public transportation

As you sit and look back on your total spending for the holidays, maybe you should consider how much better you would feel without that extra financial burden. Start creating a holiday budget plan for next year. Each week put a little away so by the time the holiday season comes around again you will have your gift shopping money and hopefully will not have to use your credit cards again.

And remember, it's the thoughtfulness behind the gift that counts, not the amount of money that you spend on the gifts.

Some Financial New Year's Resolutions:

  1. Make informed financial decisions, understanding the difference between your wants and your needs.
  2. Take care of finances today by tracking expenses and creating a budget that is realistic and flexible
  3. A good place to start is to take advantage of your employer's retirement plan.
  4. Communicate with your family about money matters so you are all working towards the same goals.
  5. Continue your personal education about financial health, budgeting, credit and personal debt
  6. Plan for seasonal expenses, including back to school, taxes and the next holiday season.
  7. Teach your children by good example the importance of budgeting, saving and wise use of credit.
  8. If you become over-extended financially take the necessary steps to seek assistance from a professional credit counseling agency.

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