Holiday bill hangover?

New-years-eve-lake-garda-1We’ve all been there. Like any really, really good party, a key ingredient is that “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”

And as we all know, there is a price to pay the next day.

The same principle applies for your holiday shopping. It may have seemed like a great idea in December, but its January now and time to deal with your holiday spending hangover.

Be proactive

Before your inbox and mailbox start flooding with sums to pay, get on top of it by knowing what you should expect. If you haven’t already, tally all of your spending from the holiday season.

Nothing incites panic like a surprise- especially in the financial department.

Have a plan

Attack this particular debt aggressively (remember a little debt can swell to a large debt over time), but keep in mind the rest of your financial plan. If necessary, modify your savings and spending structure to tuck a little away for this specifically. You don’t want this to derail your overall financial intentions.

High rollers

If you used multiple cards, always focus on the highest interest bearing one first. Your overall debt will come down much faster if you funnel your efforts rather than adding a drop here or a drop there.

Watch the date

Don’t be late. Make sure you pay these bills on time. If you’re not going to be able to, contact the creditor to see if you could make other arrangements.  They don’t always go for this, but you won’t know if you don’t ask.

Procrastinating is not going to make the debt go away. It’s just going to hurt your credit rating.

Write yourself a letter

If you over did it with the spending and are regretting it, make sure that future you remembers keenly the lessons learned from the season past.

Write yourself a letter and put it in with your Christmas decorations, to be opened during the next season. In the letter, remind yourself about the strain that too much “in the moment” thinking can unload in the weeks that follow.