It can be easy to let your spending get out of control during the holidays. Although it’s better to avoid debt during the holiday gift rush, not all of us are successful at doing so. Those of us whose willpower went astray during the holiday rush might find ourselves staring at a mountain of bills in January and paying them off might feel near impossible! Here are some tips to help you pay those holiday bills off.
Change Your Budget
You may want to re-evaluate your budget and see where you can clip corners to free up more money to put toward your holiday bills. This may mean eating out less, buying off-brand foods and other necessities, and going out the the movies less often than you would like. Perhaps consider stepping your phone plan or satellite television down for a few months to free up some more money.
Take A Look at Your Interest Rates
Before deciding which credit card to pay off first, figure out which card has the highest interest rate. You’ll want to pay off the higher interest cards first, as their balances will continue to grow faster than the lower interest cards. Pay off your cards in order from highest interest rate to lowest interest rate. On the same token, if your lower interest cards still have credit left on them, consider transferring the balances (or partial balances) from your higher interest cards to your lower interest cards.
Take a Part-Time Job
You may feel that you’re already working enough but you may want to look into a part time job, or look into ways to make money from home. If you have a skill, such as sewing or carpentry, you might look for odd jobs to put those skills to use. If you’ve got things lying around your house that you know you won’t need, try selling them on eBay or Craigslist. You may also look into babysitting, snow shoveling, or dog walking for some extra money.
Don’t Keep Using Your Credit Cards
Although it might be tempting, don’t keep using your credit cards. As you pay off the cards, put them up and away, out of your wallet. Do not use your cards for frivolous expenses, no matter how small they may seem. These small purchases can add up fast! Don’t fall into the trap of reusing your cards or you could get stuck in a continual cycle of working to pay them off after using them unnecessarily.
Pay More than the Minimum
When you get your credit card bill, don’t just pay the minimum. Pay as much as you possibly can toward the balance. Remember, the more you pay at once, the more interest you’re knocking out and avoiding. Remember, interest is compounded monthly and can add up quite quickly.