Get on top of holiday debt. Today!

brokeSantaAlthough the tree still stands, and weary memories of Christmas morning are still very fresh in your mind, there is no time like the present to start making amends coming up with a plan to tackle any debt you may have taken on during holiday shopping.

Don’t wait until January

Although you’re not going to see those holiday bills for a while, your best bet against aggressively (and successfully) trying to whittle down that debt is to get a full picture now, today, about what you are up against.

Yes, January is the time for New Year’s resolutions and fresh starts etc., but time is of the essence. It’s about taking control. Control means action. This means when the bills arrive in your mailbox- you’re ready.

Know what you’re up against

You’ll only know how to really effectively formulate a plan if you really know what the full picture looks like.

It’s time to sit down at the kitchen table and reconcile your receipts. Itemize everything and get a total. Also note when payments are due etc.

Ditch the plastic

Ok- so maybe you had to use your plastic tools during the holiday season, and that is ok- if you commit to knocking it out.

The problem with a little bit of debt is that it quickly becomes a whole mountain of debt very quickly- and the taller it is, the harder it is to climb down.

Put the credit cards away, at least in the short term, and turn to a strict, cash-only diet.

Ramp up cash flow

If you are being really aggressive about managing that holiday debt, consider trying to square in some extra cash in the short term to put down on that debt. Remember, every little bit helps.

Do you receive a year-end bonus at work? Direct it towards the spending you’ve done in the last few weeks. Did you receive multiple gift cards? Consider selling them to get a little extra cash (although don’t tell the gift giver!!). Maybe with the new stash of kids toys that appeared under the tree this year, you can purge some older stuff and sell it on a used site.