With the holidays in the past, it is now time to prepare for the debt. In order to make your purchases cost effective, you will want to adapt strategies to get it paid off as soon as possible. Discipline yourself to get the money paid off quickly. You may have to make quite a few cutbacks over the next few months, but it will all be worth it in the end.
1. Define your debt. Make a list of all credit cards or loans used to for holiday purchases. Arrange them in descending order according to interest rate percentages. If you have used any direct payday loans separate them from the rest into a "immediate attention" pile. Their quick payoff date is right around the corner and it qualifies for priority payoff status. One your lists are complete calculate the complete holiday debt. This figure is what you owe right now. The longer it takes to pay this off, the bigger it will grow.
2. Take a holiday from spending. Pack up your credit cards for a hiatus from shopping outside of basic needs. It makes no sense to continue to use third party money when you are supposed to be paying down your debt.
3. Holiday bonus. If you are one of the lucky ones to receive a holiday bonus, consider using it to jump start paying off the debt. The lump sum is quick cash to get rid of your direct payday lender debt or make a dent towards the highest credit card balances.
4. Sell. If you received gift cards or items you know you won't use or could put the value to better use towards paying down your debt, then sell it. There are several online websites to sell gift cards at a decent rate. You can return items; sell them online or at a garage sale.
5. Transfer balances. If you have a low interest credit card with an available balance, transfer other debt onto that card. It is much easier and more cost effective to have less payments going out each month.
6. Pay more often. Weekly payments will pay down balances quicker. As the balance declines the interest charges will too.
7. Change spending habits. Look through budgeted allotments and find areas to cut back. Keep these changes reoccurring each month until you have paid off your debt and built a savings account.
Don't forget the list you made at the start. If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Keep track of your progress. When you see results it will motivate your efforts to continue on with the plan. Your holiday debt will be paid off much sooner this way.