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December 27, 2018 Debt Management Briana Nobrega

3 Powerful Steps to Paying Down Holiday Debt

It’s hard to resist the temptation to over-spend when buying gifts for your family and friends, especially when so many retailers offer their deepest discounts of the year. So if you find yourself suddenly buried under a mound of credit card debt, here’s how to dig yourself out:

1. Add up your seasonal costs

The first step is to simply calculate the exact amount of your holiday debt. This is helpful for a couple reasons. For starters, you need to know your target number so that you can make a plan for repayment.

But it also lets you establish a limit for next year’s seasonal spending. Provided that your budget is the same, you can either make a plan to save more or perhaps decide to spend less on each gift.

2. Tackle higher-interest debt first

Not all debt is created equal. You’ll pay more in the long run on credit cards with higher interest than on lower-rate cards. So rather than splitting your repayments evenly across your accounts, make the more expensive cards your priority. Otherwise, your holiday purchases will weigh you down well into the new year.

3. Re-organize your budget

If you’re struggling to get ahead of your seasonal debt, you may need to take a long, hard look at your budget (and if you’ve never made a budget, the beginning of the year is a great time to start!). Can you eat out less? Make coffee at home instead of buying it every day? Identify areas where you can save and apply the extra money towards the costs of those holiday purchases.

  Written by or adapted from an article by BALANCE. All rights reserved.