As 2013 gets into full swing, you may be feeling the effects of the holidays in more ways than one. Holiday spending can take a toll physically, mentally and especially financially.
Even the most frugal shoppers may find the holidays bring extra expenses that linger long into the New Year. Instead of playing financial catch-up for the rest of 2013, try rebuilding your finances quickly.
1. Pay off your bills immediately.
Your credit card bills may be intimidating after holiday shopping, but ignoring them will just let late fees and interest pile up. Pay off your bills within the first two months of the year to avoid being buried in even more debt.
2. Return unused purchases.
During the holidays, we all end up buying a few extra items we don’t really need. Don’t let those purchases sit in your closet for the rest of the year. If you’re stretched for money, go ahead and return them. If you later find you really need the item, buy it then.
3. Stop eating out for two weeks.
Eating at restaurants is a common way to overspend. Take a trip to the grocery, see what’s on sale and plan your meals for the week. Commit to cooking and bringing your lunch to work and you’ll be surprised how much money you can save in a few weeks.
4. Always pay more than the minimum.
Instead of making just the minimum payment on your credit card bill, put any extra money you have towards your balance. It may be tough, but you’ll pay off your debt faster and avoid extra costs in the end.
5. Track your progress!
Making these small sacrifices will feel great when you realize how much you’ve paid off. Keep track of what you save and pay back and it will encourage you to keep going. Create milestones for your progress. For example, if you have $5,000 to pay off, give yourself a small treat each time you pay off $1,000! It’s something to look forward to and will keep you motivated.
Article submitted by Autumn