It’s when you open the first credit card statement of the new year that you know the holidays are really over. Spending too much over the festive season is almost as traditional as roast turkey with all the trimmings, with a third of Canadians overspending on their holiday budget, according to a survey by financial firm Edward Jones. However, with a bit of self-discipline and planning, it is possible to pay off your holiday debt before next Christmas arrives. Here’s how:
1. Know What You Need to Pay
2. Pay the Debts with the Highest Interest First
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3. Transfer Your Balance to a Low Interest Card or Line of Credit
Shop around and find a card with a low interest rate and low balance transfer fee.
4. Pay More Than the Minimum
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6. Create a Payment Schedule
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7. Pay as Early as Possible
8. Pay Often
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9. Keep Track
10. Don’t Use Your Credit Card
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11. Ask for a Lower Interest Rate
12. Use the Debt Snowball Method
Once that bill has been paid in full, use the amount that you would have paid toward it to start paying off the second smallest bill.
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13. Use Your Holiday Bonus and Cash Gifts Wisely
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14. Sell Unused Gift Cards
15. Sell Unwanted Gifts
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16. Find Extra Sources of Income
You can then use the extra income to pay off your debt and who knows, if you enjoy the sideline and are good at it, it may even become a new career.
17. Cut Back
18. Start a Rainy-Day Fund
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19. Focus on the Long-Term
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20. Promise Yourself a Reward
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