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Cost Savers

5 Ways to Get Out From Under Holiday Bills

Feeling that holiday bill hangover? You’re not alone—Americans planned to spend $861 on the 2014 holiday season. Whether you spent more or less, here are ideas to put that debt to bed.
Couple Discusses Holiday Bills and Debt

Photo by: iStock

Regain control of your finances with these five ways to begin to dig out from under those holiday bills:

1. Be Realistic
Credit card debt will not go away on its own. In fact, when ignored, it will grow and grow as interest compounds. Realizing your debt exists and setting up a plan to pay it off is the first step.

2. Ask for a Lower Rate
This may sound too simple, but you never get what you don’t ask for. If you’re paying a high interest rate, it’s worth a call to your credit card company to see if they will lower it.

3. Transfer Your Balance to a 0% Interest Card
A balance transfer can be a great way to get your debt under control, but it can be a double-edged sword. 0% interest can be tempting when you see something you just have to have. If you can resist adding to your debt, transferring to a 0% interest card can help reduce your minimum payment and make reaching your goal easier.

4. Make More Than The Minimum Payment
If all you do every month is make your minimum payment, you’re setting yourself up for very long commitment with your credit card company. By making more than the minimum payment due, you’ll get ahead of schedule while also paying less interest.

5. Stop Using Your Credit Card
While trying to pay down your balance, one of the simplest steps is not to use that card for any further purchases. Adding to your debt while trying to pay it off is like taking one step forward and two steps back. Unless it is an absolute emergency, you’re better off using your debit card or cash for any new purchases.

With a plan in place and some solid willpower, getting your debt under control can be easier than you imagined. If you feel like you need further help, contact a reputable consumer credit counseling agency.

See also:
Making and Sticking to a Household Budget
Budget Home Makeovers
Best Kitchen Updates on a Budget
5 Best Values for Your Home Improvement Dollar

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