The holidays are the time of year most people go into debt. Between Christmas shopping, and impulse buys that most stores count on it’s not long before most of the country is feeling the pinch of a tight belt and a tighter wallet. Now that the holiday season is over you look back wondering how did things get so out of hand. The answer is that somewhere along the way you lost sight of the big picture and let the spirit of the season have it’s way with you cash and your life. January has rolled around and you are wondering just how you are going to climb back out of the debt that you’re in. There are several different strategies that you could consider.
~ Learn to effectively budget.
Having a budget is an important part of tracking your spending. Rearrange you budget at the beginning of the year. Begin by cutting out unnecessary spending. This could free up either a few dollars or a few hundred depending on your past spending habits.
Once you have cut down to the basics plan on putting up to one tenth of your income into savings during the next year. This will provide both a nice emergency fund, and can help prevent you from over spending when the holiday season rolls around again.
If you purchased items on a credit card include enough in your budget to pay more than just the minimum balance. Pay off any credit card debt as quickly as possible to avoid accumulating interest on the account.
~Sell unused items
If there is just to much debt for you to be able to pay off slowly. Whether you choose to use Ebay or have a yard sell, selling items your family doesn’t need and no longer have a use for is a good way to come up with a little extra to pay toward debts.
~Debt consolidation loan
While there are some scams out there to watch out for if you have multiple loans and credit cards a debt consolidation loan may be able to get you out faster. It gives you the money to pay off all the debt to the current holders and instead pay to their company one payment.
~Get a second job
Most people would never consider working two jobs just to pay off debt, but having a secondary income to put directly toward your debts can get them paid off much quicker. Don’t consider a second job if you are already to busy to sit down. If you could work an extra two or three hours a day at a part time job you could make as much as six hundred dollars a month to go toward the debts. If you only owe two or three thousand dollars and are willing to work hard to get it down you could manage to be out of debt in less than six months.
The hardest part of getting out of debt is staying out of it. Once you have a plan of action stick to it and don’t let any impulsive decisions cost you all that you’ve worked so hard for. Ask yourself with each purchase “do I really need this?” If the answer is no skip it and save your money for something you really want. It won’t be easy but if you are determined you can get out of debt and stay out of it.