Have credit card bills replacing holiday cards in your mailbox? Has all that paying for gifts, special meals, decorations, parties, and holiday travel left you a bit overwhelmed?
If so, you are definitely not alone.
TD Bank’s most recent Merry Money Survey reports that 74% of consumers admit that the “financial aspects of the holiday season” make them anxious, with 69% owning up to having previously overspent during Decembers past.
If, despite your best intentions, you have to mark yourself “guilty” of overspending during the holidays, all is not lost. Pledge to take some measures to avoid overspending in 2023, and let’s look at some ways you can deal with those balances you racked up now. Getting those under control ASAP is the first step to getting your 2023 finances under control.
Add It Up
Get your financial bearings. Consolidate your receipts and bills and figure out how much you actually spent. Keep in mind that even if you can manage the minimum payments on your credit card balances, you are simultaneously piling up high-interest rates—or even late fees if you get squeezed one month and miss a payment. So take a realistic look at what you need to do to keep those credit card balances coming down and your credit score solid.
Freeze Credit Card Spending
Paying off holiday debt while continuing to pile on new charges is like sweeping back the tide—you’re never going to make any progress. Limit yourself to essential spending (think rent, groceries, gas…) and use the money you might have spent on all those “great January sales” to chip away at your credit card balances.
If you have a Rainy Day fund, paying off high-interest credit card balances is a great way to use it. Realistically, though, that may not be an option. You could consider moving your balance to a new credit card with a 0% balance transfer fee—just be disciplined about still paying that debt off as aggressively as possible.
Open a Secured Personal Loan
Secured personal loans are worth looking into if you have a big balance on a high-interest credit card, even if you don’t have much credit history or if your credit score is low. Instead of loaning money based on your credit history or score, a secured loan simply requires that you have some form of collateral to protect the lending institution—usually something like a vehicle, property, or some other type of real estate.
Companies like Bay Country Financial Services offer financing of up to $50,000 through secured personal loans, often with same-day approvals and no application fees. Unless you default, you keep the collateral throughout the life of the loan. After you pay off the loan in full, the lender relinquishes all rights to the asset.
If you’re struggling to recover from overspending during the holidays and want to discuss some loan options, reach out to Bay Country Financial. You may be surprised by some of the things they can suggest to help you bounce back from overzealous holiday spending—and get on a more solid financial footing in the future.