How to Pay Down Christmas Debt

Paying down Christmas debt is on the minds of many Americans.  U.S. News shared 6 tips on how you can pay down the debt.  Obviously, the best strategy is to not even go into debt, but for those who didn’t follow that tip, here are 6 others (with our commentary).

1. Tally it up.

Planning ahead of time will make this easier.  If you made a list and stuck to it, you wouldn’t need to tally it up…but if you’re a normal shopper, you probably spent a little more than what you budgeted for.  Revisit your credit card statements and find out how much you spent on Christmas.

2. Put together a realistic payoff plan.

What’s realistic?  Hopefully you don’t spend the next 4 months paying down Christmas 2011.  If so, you should rethink your holiday spending habits.

3. Consolidate.

If you have that option available, you might consider consolidating your holiday cards down to one card with 0% interest.  This usually isn’t a smart money move for long term because the behavior problem isn’t fixed.

4. Put a halt on credit card spending.

Now we’re talking.  This is where the behavior issue is addressed.  We agree that stopping the credit is the best way to manage holiday debt.

5. Tap into another income stream.

Learn to make a few extra bucks by writing, side jobs, or other projects that make extra cash.  You might even consider selling some old stuff (maybe from Christmas 2010?) on Craigslist.

6. Pay off debt with bonus money.

Hopefully you can earmark your bonus check or tax return to pay down all your debt.  It’s no ‘sure thing’ but those holiday bonus check can be very helpful in paying down Christmas debt.

What do you think about this strategy?

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