Did you overspend on the holidays? If so, don’t despair. It happens to the best of us at least once, and for some of us, more than once. If there’s one time when it’s easy to cave into spending peer pressure, it’s the holiday season. After all, you don’t want to be seen as the one giving a skimpy gift when others are giving generously.
If you’re facing a stack bills, hold your head high and know that with a few months of discipline, you can dig your way out and make wiser decisions next holiday season.
Transfer Your Balance to a 0% APR Credit Card
Do you have an outstanding credit card balance from the holidays? If it’s more than you can easily pay off in a month or two, consider transferring the balance to a low or 0% APR credit card. True, you may need to pay up to a 3% transaction fee, but that will likely be less than you’d pay in interest if you kept the balance on a high interest rate credit card. A site like Totally Money can help you find the best credit card offers out there.
Put Away Money Every Month for Next Holiday Season
The time to prepare for next holiday season is now. Tally up how much you spent this past holiday season and then divide by 12. Starting this month, put away 1/12 of the total you spent in a savings account each and every month. By the time December rolls around, you’ll have all the money you need already saved.
Cut Accounts You No Longer Use
All of us have some accounts that we no longer use. Maybe it’s a gym membership you no longer use or a newspaper subscription that you don’t have time to read. Ruthlessly slash these expenses can give you more money to apply to your debt.
Change to Lower Cost Services
Next, try to find ways you can save without affecting your lifestyle. If you still have a home phone line, why pay $30 or more each month? Instead you can use a service like Ooma or Magic Jack and pay less than $5 a month, leaving you with an extra $25 in your pocket each month.
Entertain in Some Nights
Rather than meeting friends out at a restaurant, consider hosting a potluck at your house. Going out with friends can be fun, but it can also be expensive. Find alternatives like hosting an event at your house or going out for coffee rather than out to eat, and you’ll save more money than you can imagine.
With some belt tightening as well as smart money moves, you can recover from your holiday overspending before the summer comes.
What’s your favorite way to recover from a financial spending binge?