|March 22, 2017||0|
For many people, Christmas is seen as the most joyful time of year for both young and old. All of us are delighted to wrap up the year of work or school and spend some quality time with family and friends. They don’t refer to it as the silly season for nothing either. Eating and spending a bit too much is the norm and it’s incredibly easy to lose track of your savings and your waistline! Taking a hard-earned break is necessary for our mental health, so it’s easy to overindulge in presents and holidays during the festive season. But alas, the new year comes around soon enough and we can all start anew. Time to make some resolutions and prepare for the year in advance.
Before we recognise it, we’re back in the same routine. Work, school, bills, stress. But what if you’re in the scenario where you spent way too much during the festive season and now you’re in debt? Well, don’t be spooked, it happens to lots of people during this time of year. Thankfully we’ve got some ideas on how you can efficiently pay off your Christmas debts in a timely fashion.
Create a list of your debts
The very first step in clearing your Christmas debts is to understand how much you owe. Grab a pen and paper and list all the debts you have, along with the creditor’s, interest rates, next repayment date and repayment amounts. Aim to be conservative here and list every single debt you have, regardless of how big or small. After you’ve worked out your repayment amounts, you’ll have to work out a plan on paying off the principal, which leads us to our next recommendation.
Bear in mind that debts comprise of both interest repayments and principals. Paying the interest only will doing nothing long-term, so when you’ve figured out your repayment amounts, the next step is to create a plan on paying off the principal. It’s generally best to concentrate on the highest interest rate debts to start with which will save you money in the long run. Interest on loans are a powerful force and can cripple your finances if you don’t take care. You additionally may wish to list your income streams at the same time so you can work out how much will be left over for living expenses. This will assist you in our next tip, creating a budget.
To ensure you can still enjoy the year in advance, you’ll want to settle your Christmas debt inside the first quarter of the year, so forming a budget and sticking to it is essential. If you’ve had issues adhering to a budget in the past, there are a number of great smartphone apps that can help you with maintaining your budget. Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t indicate you can’t have any fun either. There are lots of free and affordable activities available, you just have to adjust your perspective and don’t let your Christmas debt take control of your life.
Save, save, save
Even though it may sound obvious, the quickest way to pay off debt is to grow your savings and stay away from unnecessary expenses. You might plan to stop eating out once a week which can save you a surprising amount of money. Or you might catch public transport to work to save money on fuel. If you feel inclined, cut up your credit cards! Do whatever you need to do to save money – being prudent is important. Get in control of your spendings and save as much as possible; you don’t want your holiday debt hangover to continue until the following Christmas!
Monitor your progress
Evaluate your progression every month to see how well your plan is performing. You might wish to make some changes if needed, and you’ll have a better idea of what changes are realistic depending on the previous month’s efforts. If you’re being super disciplined and have over-performed, then reward yourself to commemorate your achievement. A reward doesn’t need to cost an outrageous amount of money, but it will increase your motivation to stick to your plan in times of need. By budgeting and tracking your progression, you’ll have better financial skills and hopefully won’t be stuck in the same position next Christmas!
If you can’t manage your debts, seek advice immediately
If you’ve seriously tried to at least decrease your debts in a timely fashion and haven’t succeeded, you may be experiencing financial hardship. Instead of waiting and paying more and more interest, it’s better to seek advice from the experts before your situation gets worse. There are many options available for those in financial hardship and they vary depending upon your individual circumstances. For a confidential discussion on how to successfully manage your debts, call Fresh Start Solutions Darwin on 1300 818 575 or visit https://freshstartsolutions.com.au/bankruptcy-darwin