If you over-indulged during the holiday season, you are not alone. And we are not just talking about food, either. If, like many of us, you tend to overspend during this season and blow the holiday budget. Here are a few tips on how to recover from the New Year debt blues.
1. Face the debt head-on
Do not avoid your bank, credit card, and store card statements. Yes, it is scary – but you need to find out where the size of debt stands. Go through every line and item one by one, so there are no mistakes later on down the road when planning what steps can be taken next to reduce overall spending or how much money can potentially get clawed back from these purchases.
2. Use your bonus wisely
If you are lucky enough to be getting a bonus, use that money to take an important step towards financial freedom. Do not spend it on things like going out or buying more clothes.
3. Get a copy of your credit record
Your credit report can give you a good indication of how you manage your finances and will help you keep up with what you may need to change. To get the latest on your financials – it is essential to take charge of these reports.
4. Stop the problem from getting worse
Once you know how much your debt is – pay it off as soon as possible. Step one: put away those plastic cards. Create a line in your budget specifically for repayment with interest rates low enough – so they do not add up quickly or cause any problems down the road.
Remember – aim higher than the minimum payment each month; this will reduce what is owed even more over time.
5. Consolidate your debt
If you have overdone it – and have a lot of short-term debt that may be a battle to pay every month, consolidating all your debts into one personal loan may be the answer. Talk to your bank about how they can help make this happen for you.
6. Make sure you plan better
This is a great time to start planning for the new year. Your next holiday season will be much better if your finances are under control and no added stress. Work out what exactly it is that drains your energy – whether it is bills or groceries; then create a strategy on how best not to let this happen again in 12 months’ time. You’ll thank yourself later when all those investments pay off at once with less emotion involved.