If you spent a little more than you wanted during the holidays, it’s time to get your finances back on track. By setting some goals and sticking to them, you can pay down your debt and start building up your savings again.
So where do you start?
Get your finances back in the black with these tips:
- Determine monthly debt payment amounts. Once you've paid your bills and other necessities each month, figure out how much you can spare toward paying down your debt.
- Figure out where you're paying the most interest. If you put your holiday shopping on a credit card, you may be losing significant amounts of money each month in interest. Determine which of your credit cards carries the highest interest and pay down that card first.
- Put "extra" money toward your debts. If you get a bonus at work or receive a tax refund, consider putting this unexpected money toward your debt to make a big dent without affecting your monthly spending plan.
- Embrace small savings. Consider giving up your daily latte habit or clipping coupons for a few months to have a little extra cash flow to put toward your debt. Just an extra 20 dollars a week can make a difference over time.
- Plan ahead. Once your holiday debt is paid off, consider taking the monthly money that you were using to pay down your debt and sticking it in a savings account. That way, you'll be more prepared for holiday expenses next season.
- Make a spending plan for next holiday season. Don't get caught with holiday debt again next year. Follow these tips for saving money during the holiday season.
And remember, you never have to tackle your finances alone. Free personal financial counseling is available through your installation’s Military and Family Support Center and Military OneSource.