Get Control of Your Post Holiday Bills
The holidays are certainly an exciting time, full of friends, family and good times. For many, however, the holidays come with an unwanted hangover in the form of big credit card bills. Most people are expected to spend in excess of $500 buying presents for friends and family members, and it is easy to see how that spending adds to the growing levels of personal debt in the United States.
Fortunately, there are a number of strategies smart consumers can use to get a handle on those post holiday credit card bills.
- Know the interest rates you are paying. When it comes to any type of loan, including unsecured loans like credit cards, the number one consideration is the interest rate. Make a list of the cards on which you carry a balance, and list the interest rate on each card.
- Use this information to prioritize your payments. The cards with the highest interest rates should be paid down first. After the balance with the highest interest rate has been paid off, go on to the next highest, and so forth.
- Pay attention to those 0% and low introductory interest rate offers, but know how to use them. For those with the discipline to use them, these 0% and low introductory rate offers can be a great way to reduce the interest rate on the biggest balances. Care must be taken, however, because after those introductory periods expire, the rates will revert to normal levels, and these normal levels can be quite high. Credit card companies are counting on consumers to not pay attention to the fine print.
- Consider taking a second job to bring in some extra cash until those holiday bills are gone. Taking on extra work is often the most effective way to eliminate those bills in a timely manner.
- Budget carefully to avoid the same mistakes. Why not make one of your new years’ resolutions to make a monthly budget and stick to it. A monthly budget can be a godsend, not just at Christmas but all through the year.