The holidays can bring a lot of joy and merriment for all, but they certainly do not come cheap.
From the food to the gifts and even fun trips, it can feel like you are constantly opening your wallet.
A study completed by Holiday Debt Poll revealed that 30% of people with no debt will go into debt to keep up with all their holiday shopping demands.
Come the new year, rather than feeling excited for the times ahead, we feel worried due to this newly acquired baggage.
Many stores take advantage of the holiday buzz by trapping consumers into high-interest rate credit cards, so you can buy what you need when you need it— But you find yourself paying the price and much, much more down the road.
Here are a few manageable steps to pay your debt down quickly:
1) Take inventory
Write down who you owe and what you owe, and even check out the rate for that line of credit. Many store cards charge 20% interest on your balance (that is crazy high!).
We like to emphasize that knowing where your money is going can be half the battle. It can be daunting to see the total, but it also allows us to have a more realistic view of how much we are spending monthly.
2) Consolidate your debt
Making monthly payments to multiple accounts can be difficult, it can even distort your perception on how much you are spending each month. Consolidating all these payments to one will save you time and give you a better idea of how much you’re spending each month.
Huge bonus: Our lending professionals will sit down with you and review your options for consolidating your debt to save you the most time and money. Remember, CCCU is here for our members- “We’ve Got You”.
3) Save money
When you’re really feeling the weight of debt on your shoulders it can be a good time to assess a few ways that you can save more, more consistently to make a drastic impact.
Here are a few suggestions for cutting back on your spending:
Cancel cable and subscribe to Netflix instead, potentially saving $56.42 a month
Pack a lunch for work instead of ordering out. If you spend $7 on lunch out 5 days a week, that’s $140 a month you’re spending
Ditch Starbucks for homemade coffee! If you spend just $5 a day there, that’s $150 a month
Cancel the gym membership and workout at home. You could save $54 a month on the gym
By cutting out some of these non-essential items for a few months you can really expedite paying off your debt. The faster you do this, the faster you can go back to living the life of luxury. Or maybe you’ll find that you don’t need some of the items you previously relied on, and you can bulk up your savings account (we always advocate for this!).
Paying off debt does not have to be complicated, even if it seems overwhelming at first. Have a plan and stick to it, you will find yourself making progress in no time!