Now that the holidays are over; the celebrations are done, and everybody is back in business as usual. Some of them do so with a heavy heart as they miss their families. Others are back with empty pockets and credit card debt as they couldn’t resist being extravagant during the holiday season. If you belong to the latter category, it is understandable if you want to end this phase soon. Here is how you can emerge out of your current situation.
Watch your spending
The very step towards your financial recovery will start with accepting the fact that you are under debt. You cannot pave the way to your financial wellbeing unless you stop spending frivolously. You will watch every dollar that you spend and put it only where it is absolutely necessary. In the process, you may have to make certain lifestyle changes. For instance, you may have to cook by yourself instead of opting for take-out. You may also have to curb your shopping urges and use coupons to buy the necessary items. It will also make sense to postpone any big-ticket purchases that you were planning for this year.
Use your bonus
Most organizations offer holiday or year-end bonuses to their employees during this time. Make sure that you use this bonus to clear your debt. It may be a tough decision to make if you had already planned something with this money. However, being debt-free is the best gift that you can give yourself. Moreover, it will also help in building a good credit score. Similarly, you can use your tax returns and another windfall towards this cause.
Select a payment strategy that works
It will be difficult to clear your debt without a plan in place. For instance, you may have to revisit your budget to cut back on a few items. You may opt to make your own coffee for the time being or carpool instead of taking personal cabs. If you have multiple credit card debts, you will have to consider one of the two options for clearing them. In the first method, you will have to clear the debt with the highest interest rate first. However, it may seem daunting to some of you. In that case, select the debt with the smallest outstanding dues. Striking off your debts will give you more confidence. If both of them seem challenging, you can approach a counselor for further assistance.
Pay your bills on time
Paying unnecessary fines always pinches the bearer’s pocket. However, now is the worst time to miss your deadline and attract a penalty. Make sure you pay all your bills regularly and on time. It is all the more important for your credit card dues and other loan installments. The interest rate can compound your debt exponentially if you miss your due dates. It may help to set reminders to be on track. You can also consider debt consolidation for easy debt repayments.
Review your credit cards
Now is a good time to evaluate your credit card portfolio. Ideally, you should not have more than three cards. If you do, it is the right time to cut off the rest. Also, examine the annual fees, interest rates and reward systems of your credit cards. Cancel your credit cards that impose annual fees. Secondly, start making good use of your reward points. You will be surprised to know the amount you can save with those discounts and coupons.
Learn from your mistakes
In all probability, you ended up in this situation because you spent too much on Christmas gifts and travel. To avoid being in a similar situation next year, start planning for your holiday expenses. Try to purchase gift items during sales to save money. Also, make sure that you do not spend too much money, and exercise moderation when buying gifts.