It’s time to start putting away the holiday decorations and taking down the lights. Now that the holidays are over, we can get back to our regular routines. You’ve checked your bank account and credit cards and… uh oh! You went way over your budget. Holiday overspending happens to the best of us, so don’t panic just yet. Here are 5 credit counseling tips to help you with debt recovery from holiday overspending:
1. Only spend money on the essentials.
This means that for the next couple of months, stop going out to eat, buying new clothes, or otherwise spending frivolously. Try to only spend money on what you absolutely have to – rent, groceries, utilities, etc. Don’t dig yourself into a deeper hole. Of course, that doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to have fun or do anything for entertainment. Just try to find activities or events that are free so you don’t have to spend any money.
2. Make getting rid of debt a priority.
If you used credit cards when you were out holiday shopping, then you should really make paying them off a priority before they start accumulating too much interest and spiraling out of control.
There are a couple of different ways you can pay off your debt effectively: the Debt Avalanche Method and the Debt Snowball Method. If you’ve been struggling with credit card debt for a while, you may need to reach out to a credit counseling agency for help. They may have you enroll in a debt management program.
3. Create a savings plan for next holiday season.
You don’t want to make the same mistake again. Start saving now. While it may seem silly to start saving for the holiday season in January, if you start now and put away $30 a month, in 10 months you’ll have $300 to spend on gifts or other holiday expenses.
4. Sell items you no longer need.
January is a great time to go through your house and purge any items you no longer use or need, especially if being more organized is one of your New Year resolutions. If there are items that are still in good condition, don’t just throw them out. Try selling them on Facebook Marketplace or E-Bay to get a little bit of extra cash. That money can be put toward paying off debt or saving for the holidays for next year!
5. Return anything unnecessary that you bought for yourself.
The holiday season is all about giving, but that doesn’t mean we’re not tempted to splurge on ourselves from time to time! However, if you find you’ve spent too much on yourself, you should check the return policies on those items. If you can return them and get your money back, you’re at least undoing a bit of the financial damage from the holidays.
If you need help managing debt, ACCC can help! Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today.