Getting control of your holiday debt isn’t an easy feat, but it’s an important one as you start a new year and get your wits about you financially. Investing in gifts and presents during the holiday season is a challenge for many people, and for many the only option is to go into debt to provide positive memories for their family. That said, there are ways to pay off your holiday debt quickly.
To start, calculate exactly how much you owe in debts across the board, including any credit card debt as a result of holiday spending, or any cards you opened specifically to fund holiday purchases. Then, put more your debts in order from the highest interest rate to the lowest. Start making payments to your highest interest first, and pay more than the minimum payment if you can to more aggressively tackle that higher interest debt.
After a busy holiday season, a lot of people have January resolutions that involve saving money. If you’re having difficulty making holiday ends meet, commit to cutting your spending in January to quickly catch back up. You can even tell others that your resolution is to eat out less or cook more if you’re in an environment where talking about money openly isn’t a possibility. You can also cut expenses like trips, nail salon visits, buying coffee, or other nice-to-haves while you’re paying off your holiday debt for a few months.
You can also call the creditor or credit card company and try to negotiate a lower interest rate with them, and the holiday season is a common time where people try and do this, so you may have better success than other times of year.
The key to paying off your holiday debt is knowing exactly how much you spent and how a more aggressive payment plan can factor into your day-to-day life more seamlessly. If you understand that making significant lifestyle changes in the first few months of the year will keep you from paying off the debt over the course of an entire year, you’ll feel more motivated to stay on top of your payments and say “no” to things that will keep you from achieving that goal.