Did you rack up some holiday debt this year, despite your best intentions? Follow the instructions in this no-nonsense guide to get rid of it quickly.
Time Required: Varies
Assess the damage. Pull out those holiday receipts and credit card statements, and figure out exactly how much you owe.
Put yourself on a bare-bones budget. Jot down your monthly expenses. Then, cross out anything that isn't essential. Apply all money that you free up toward your debt.
Earn a little extra. Get a part-time job; ask for overtime at work; sell some of your stuff – just find a way to bring in more cash now.
Bust open your piggy bank.If you've been saving all your change for a rainy day, this is it. Grab some coin rolls, and start rolling. Every last cent needs to go towards your debt.
Put off purchases."Make it last or do without" needs to be your motto until you pay off that debt.
Shop to save. Walk into stores determined to come out with the best deals possible. Use coupons; take advantage of sales; shop second-hand. Then, plow the savings into your debt.
- How to Coupon Effectively
- How to Get More Coupons
- Advanced Couponing Strategies
- Simple Ways to Slash Your Grocery Bill
Make the most of windfalls. Raises, bonuses, gift money and tax refunds are all common this time of year. Use them to wipe out another chunk of your holiday debt.
Keep at it. Paying off debt isn't easy, but it is doable. Put in the work, and before long that holiday debt will be gone.
- You don't need to wait until your monthly payment is due to send in money. You can make a payment any time you have the cash to do so – even if that means sending in multiple payments throughout the month
- Update your debt balance weekly to maintain your motivation
- Cutting back doesn't have to mean cutting out all fun. Look for free concerts and events to keep you in good spirits while you're paying off your holiday debt
What You Need:
- Copies of your holiday bills
- A list of your monthly expenses