The holidays are over, the new year is here. January 2016 is in full swing, and now we have to face the reality of paying off everything we bought during the month of December. I completely understand your pain and your situation. We are all going through the same thing. If you were able to pay everything in cash, and have no debt come January 2016, then I say good for you, you can start the new year debt free and that is a great place to be. But most of us can’t do that; even if we plan our budgets to the best of our abilities. It is what it is. December is an expensive month, that’s life. But, hey let me help you. Here I’ll share with you some tips on how to deal with the debt from last December. It won’t be hard, just follow along.
Find out how much you owe – a total number
I know this is painful – especially when you start adding up all the bills. I’m with you, it’s hard, but before you come up with a plan you need to know how much you actually owe. This step is the most painful but necessary. Just add up all your bills and come up with a total.
Write down the dates that the payments are due
Now get all your bills and write down when the payments are due. Most likely all the bills will not be due the same day. Now that you wrote it down, you can see which ones are due first, and you need to pay those that are due first so that you are not charged a late fee – You don’t want that, it would mean adding unnecessary debt to your existing one.
Review your house budget
You need to take a look at your house budget – if you don’t have one, then create one right away. You need to list the amount of money that comes in and all the bills you have to pay on a monthly basis. Once you review your budget, you can take a look at how much you have left over after your monthly bills are paid. You will use this amount to plan how to pay off the bills from the holiday season.
Plan amounts to pay each month until the bills are paid off
You may have enough or not to cover all the debt from the holiday season. So take a look at the statements and see what are the minimums you can pay, and plan to pay the ones that are due first right away. As I said if you don’t have the money to pay the bill off, pay the minimum and a little more if possible. If you have enough to cover at least one bill completely, do it and continue paying the minimum and a little more on the other ones.
Control your spending beginning of year
If after reviewing your budget and bills, you can barely cover the minimum payment, then you have to control your spending to be able to keep more of your money. Try to not spend money on things you don’t need, so that you can use that money to pay off the debt you have.
It takes some planning and a lot of self control to be able to save and pay off debt, but you can do it. Follow this advice to get you started. Don’t feel guilty or bad about yourself, we all have to live with the reality that December is an expensive month and we will have to deal with debt. It’s not only you, it’s me and most of the country. So, get a hold of your finances, pay off that debt and enjoy the rest of your new year.