Okay, you had a great time over Christmas and it’s only afterwards you’ve realised it all cost rather more than you expected. Before you blow a gasket or worry yourself sick, stay with us and discover the best ways to deal with the debt.
1. First things first
Firstly, it’s important to look at the problem rationally. Don’t blame yourself or anybody else for that matter and work on a positive plan to deal with it. Stress and worry just make you feel bad, but they don’t fix anything, so let’s look forward, not backwards.
2. Don’t make things worse!
Nowadays, there are always tempting offers and deals on offer, but have to be strong and ignore them completely. Remember, buying something cheap isn’t saving you money, it’s just another cost you can do without.
Also, this is the time to examine all your everyday and regular expenses and look at where you can reduce your costs. Start by cutting down on unnecessary costs such as eating out, takeaway meals, ice cream and coffee, movies, clubs and pubs etc.
If you are heavily in debt, you should look at cutting back on the big-ticket items too, like your car, or that upcoming holiday and anything in life you could live without, at least for awhile.
3. Your credit card bill – step one
No doubt, this is your major concern. The most important matter to deal with is to pay off any credit card with a really high interest rate.
If you have to pay off several credit cards, always start by paying the ones with the highest interest rate, then the next highest and so on.
4. Your credit card bill – step two
If you can’t afford to pay your credit card right away, you might consider a reduced settlement with a low interest rate card to pay off the balance.
Please don’t make this an ongoing strategy; remember this is just a way to deal with your current financial situation.
5. Breathing space
Having given you some breathing space, we need to deal with the future, to ensure you don’t end up with debt problems later down the track . Begin by cutting up all your credit cards except one. Just keep the one with a lowest, interest rate and always, always, pay the amount due, on time, every month, or whenever it should be paid. Don’t be tempted to pay the minimum amount because that just increases your debt each month. You know it makes sense!
6. Moving forward This is the time to put your ‘wise’ hat on
With your financial situation looking less desperate, you must start a savings plan. It’s always a smart thing to do for many reasons, even if it becomes a ‘save your bacon fund!’ In the meantime, put aside any extra funds that come along, however tempting it is to spend it.
7. Become wealthier It’s perfectly legal to be ambitious, so go for it
This might sound easier said than done, but if you focus on your goals you will find opportunities will come your way. Think about your career and how you can move up the ladder and earn more.
8. When the debt problem doesn’t go away
Fortunately, when things are looking really gloomy money-wise, help is at hand. Don’t assume you have to declare bankruptcy, for example. This isn’t your best option – ever. Professional help is always available, even if the banks aren’t interested. ChapterTwo are specialists in guiding you through the hard times and helping you come out the other side.
As you can see, Christmas debt problems aren’t insurmountable; you just need to deal with them rationally and, as soon as you can. Then, when you’re back on track, remember the lessons you’ve learned. Stay with the program and you could be set to be in control of your finances for life.