The holiday season rush is over, the decorations are coming down some more slowly than others and the wrapping paper is thrown away but the one thing that remains is your overwhelming credit card bills. Now it’s January and you have a ton of debt racked up from all the traveling and gift buying you did over the last couple of months. While that bottom line at the end of your credit card statement may seem daunting now, follow these tips on how to take care of your holiday debt before it gets completely out of hand.
Make Another List
Just like you did for the holidays, make a list. This time, instead of listing out who and what to buy, decide which debts need to be paid off first. The first card to pay off is the one with the highest interest rate. After that, continue going through your list. Some people prefer to start with the smallest debt first, working up to the largest until it’s all paid. Both are good methods, but be cautious of the high-interest rates when planning.
Use Tax Rebate and/or the Holiday Bonus
It’s certainly not the most fun way to spend something as refreshing as your tax rebate, but using it to pay off holiday debt could lead you to a more comfortable financial situation down the road. In addition to your tax rebate, if you’re lucky enough to have received one, use your holiday bonus to get a jump on paying off your credit cards or getting your savings back to normal. It may be a sacrifice now, but it’s one that can really benefit you in the long run.
Sell Unused Possessions and Alter Saving Habits
It might finally be time to do something about that old gaming system you don’t really use anymore. Or consider selling some of your gently used clothing items hanging in your closet. One way to reduce debt accrued during the holidays is to sell some items you rarely, if ever, use. With websites and apps, it’s as easy as a click of a button to sell things nowadays. Not only are you getting a jump on spring cleaning, but you’re also setting yourself up to pay off your holiday debt quicker. Along with this, be sure to alter your saving habits. This can be anything from not buying coffee every day or going out to lunch to switching to a credit union.
What NOT to Do to Get Out of Holiday Debt
While there are many ways to get out of your holiday debt, there are a few methods we would recommend staying away from:
- Tapping Into Retirement Savings – Don’t put the burden of something as temporary as holiday loans on your future self. Leave your retirement savings alone.
- Taking Out a Payday Loan – Again, this is just making the future a little more difficult by putting yourself deeper in debt.
- Transferring Balances – Transferring balances can lead to higher interest rates. Pay off each card separately.
Let Metro North Federal Credit Union Help You!
Along with the tips mentioned above, let Metro North Federal Credit Union help you pay off your holiday debt this year. With our professional expertise, you’ll be able to get your debt under control and financially going in the right direction. Contact us to schedule an appointment today with one of our advisors today!