Over the holiday season, many bank accounts are hard hit by overspending. It’s easy to pull out the credit card for one more gift or evening out. But when the dust settles and the receipts are tallied, the toll these purchases can take are hard to ignore. If you hit the stores a little too hard this year, here are some resolutions to help you right the ship.
- Stop using the cards. First, you’ve got to stop the bleeding. Whether you put them in a drawer and forget about them or freeze them in a block of ice, stop using more credit. You’ll need to stop spending so you don’t make the problem any worse.
- Pay your bills. When the bills come in, pay them on time. Paying late or missing a payment altogether can do even more damage. Be sure to pay at least the minimum due by the due date in order to avoid having your credit score plummeting. You should do your best to pay more than the minimum, as the interest you’ll pay on the balance can have you paying off one season for years.
- Create a budget. Consider writing down everything you spend on over the course of a month to see where your money goes. If you’re spending more than you earn, see where you can make cutes. If you’re earning enough to cover your bills, make sure you’re allocating your money wisely and pay off any debts you have.
- Switch to cash. One way to curb overspending is to switch over to a cash system. You can’t spend more than you have if you’re not using credit. Keep in mind that not using your credit at all can hurt your credit score, especially if you don’t have much history.
- Save for next year. You know the holidays are going to roll around again next year, just as they always do. Find a small amount of money in your budget and set it aside now to prepare for this time next year. Even a small amount saved each week can help take the edge off your holiday spending.
Getting carried away can happen to the best of us. Recovering from a spending spree can be hard, but it’s always worth it.
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