According to Inestopedia.com, individuals spent an average of $998 on Christmas related items. The vast majority of that spending is expected to have been done with credit cards. Using credit cards during the holidays isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you have to keep close tabs on the debt. There are several ways to start tackling the mountain of Christmas credit card debt you and your family may be staring up at.
Where do you begin?
Ideally, you already know exactly how much you owe, and you have a plan to pay it off quickly. It isn’t enough just to know you have to pay it off. Down to the dollar, you should have a plan for when and how much money you can throw at the debt.
If you do not have a plan, the first thing you should do is take a step back and look at your entire financial situation. Did you have credit card debt before you started your holiday extravaganza? Are you current on payments? If the answer is yes, move forward with the snowball payment method. If the answer is no, pay the minimum payment on any overdue cards immediately and then proceed with the snowball method.
Reign in the spending
Your goal should be to payoff the Christmas debt by the end of the first quarter. That gives you three months from January 1st to pay off the debt. For most people, this means you have to stop spending money on things you don’t absolutely need. For example, if you get coffee everyday on the way to work, over the course of a month you could be spending $60 on coffee. That is most likely more than the minimum payment on your credit card.
Your tax return is your best friend
If you expect a tax refund, you should plan to use it to help pay off Christmas debt. File early so you get your refund in the first quarter of the year and pay off that debt. Keep in mind that it is not wise to over-spend on Christmas gifts with the expectation that you will offset the debt with your tax refund. We don’t always get the refund we expected.
Look ahead and plan
If Christmas debt is unavoidable next year, start planning for it now. If you even just save $20 per month, that is $240 toward Christmas related items for next year! Amassing credit card debt is not a requirement for the holidays. You may even enjoy your holiday more if you do not have to worry about the ramifications of spending.
If you are in financial trouble and you don’t know what to do, you need help. You don’t have to live in fear of debt collectors. You don’t have to with the constant stress of mounting debt. The attorneys at Dsouza and Strachan Law Group want to help. They understand that debt can spin out of control and they are ready to right the course. Contact Dsouza and Strachan today for a free consultation.