During the holiday season, like many people, you’re probably finding that in the process of spreading good cheer you’ve spent too much money.
Along with needing to trim a few holiday-induced pounds, you may need to trim a few debts. Here are a few tips to help pay off those debts:
• Devise a strategy to decrease your debts. You may consider transferring high-rate credit card balances to a lower-rate credit card and then close down the high-rated account. Set up a plan to avoid this problem next holiday season. The best way could be to set money aside in a savings account so you can pay cash for the majority of gifts and avoid using credit for most of your purchases.
• Set a budget to review and keep track of your monthly income and expenses. Once your budget is set, you will be able to see where you can trim spending. That money can be used to help pay more than the minimum required on your credit balance due.
• If expecting an income tax refund, file early. The sooner you file, the sooner you will receive the refund and the quicker you can use it to decrease your debt.
• Cease charging! Stop using credit cards for purchases (especially for large purchases). You want to bring your debt down, not build it up. Pay cash for any goods or services you need; you’ll find that you could pay about 25% less in the long run (no interest charges!).
• Pay now. You don’t need to wait for the full billing cycle to make a payment. This will help bring down the interest on your balance.