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A holiday filled with brightly wrapped presents brings joy and happiness, but the credit card bills after the fact can bring a lot of depression and anxiety. When you go into debt over the holidays, it’s important to pay off those bills as quickly as possible. High interest rates can make every present cost 50 percent more than the price tag. Here are a few tips for paying down those balances as quickly as possible.
Without a clear plan of action, it can be easy to continue spending habits that will only put you deeper into debt. After the holidays, take a long, clear look at the bills you have to pay and adjust your budget to pay them off quickly. You might need to avoid eating out for a month or two, but a zero balance will be worth the effort of cooking at home.
All those small monthly bills add up fast when you are trying to pay down debts. The average American added nearly $1,000 to their debt over the holidays. That means that cutting less than $100 out of your monthly expenses and putting the savings toward your holiday debt will put you in the clear by the end of the year. Getting rid of a premium television package or saying goodbye to a mystery box subscription can put you well on the way to a healthy bank balance.
Sure, you could keep making those minimum payments to service your debt, or you could find ways to bring in a little extra money. If you’re a craft guru, put up an Etsy store and spend a little time each week on marketing. It may not bring in much, but you might be surprised at your earnings by the end of the year.
A good yard sale (one that includes online auctions for popular items) can help cover some of those holiday debts. Make sure to advertise on social media and work with several families to create a good spread. You’ll want to make room in the closets anyway as you put away all the new stuff you hauled in over the holidays.
From ride sharing to delivery driving to a traditional part-time job, there are plenty of options to bring in a little extra cash. You can get into a network marketing program such as Avon or start your own small business. Put your skills to work, and earn some extra money on the side.