TIPS FOR PAYING OFF POST HOLIDAY DEBT
1. Put your credit cards away until you have completely paid off the
outstanding balances. Paying for your purchases with cash instead of
credit will help you separate needs from wants.
2. Review your monthly expenses and look for opportunities to cut your
costs. By making your cup of coffee in the morning instead of buying a
$3 specialty coffee will save you over $1,000 a year!
3. Create a monthly spending plan and track your purchases to help you
stay within your budget and maximize your ability to pay down your debt.
4. Make a complete list of all of your debts, (outstanding balances,
interest rates and charges) and prioritize them in order of importance.
Mortgage payments and vehicle payments are typically at the top of most
5. If you regularly contribute to a savings plan consider suspending the
payments until you have paid off your holiday debt. The money you save
by paying down your debt faster will be substantially higher than the
interest you will earn in a savings plan. Also consider using income tax
refunds, pay increases or other unexpected funds to pay down your debts.
6. Establish realistic goals for paying off your post holiday debt, your
existing credit card debt as well as other consumer debt (lines of
credit, vehicle loans). While it is easy to run up credit card balances
in a short period of time, it will take time and self discipline to pay
them off. Monitor your progress regularly to help you stay on track and
motivated to reach your goals.
7. After paying your debt with fixed monthly payments (mortgages,
vehicle and term loans), make the minimum payments required on your
credit cards with the lowest interest rates and maximize your payments
on the credit cards with the highest interest rates. Once a debt is paid
use this extra money to pay down the credit card with next highest
interest rate. This will save you money and help you pay down your debt
8. Consider paying off credit cards with small balances first.
Psychologically it shows that you are making progress. Once paid, cut up
and cancel the credit cards. Most people only require one major credit
card and perhaps one retail credit card with savings incentives during
special sales events.
9. Consider consolidating your debts with a consolidation loan or
transferring your credit card balances to a low rate credit card.
Carefully investigate the terms, conditions and any hidden fees as well
as evaluating the overall interest savings you may realize. Cut up and
cancel your credit cards if you choose this option, otherwise you may be
tempted to continue using your credit cards and further increase your
10. If you are overwhelmed by your current financial circumstances or
have difficulty maintaining a monthly budget, seek help from someone you
trust or from a non-profit credit counselling service like the Credit
The entire AOH site is optimized to look best in Firefox® 3 on a widescreen monitor (1440x900 or better).
Site design & layout copyright © 1986- AOH
We do not send spam. If you have received spam bearing an artofhacking.com email address, please forward it with full headers to email@example.com.