It’s that time of year where people are starting to get their credit card bills and seeing that damage they did with holiday shopping.  If you are one of these, no need to panic.  Instead of ignoring it, take action to get rid of the debt as soon as you can and with a little planning you may be able to avoid it next year.

Instead of paying the minimum amount due, do what you can to pay off as much as you can each month.

Once you have the credit cards paid off, start putting money aside each month to put towards to holiday spending next year and birthdays, etc throughout the year.  Also, if you make a list of people you usually buy gifts for, an amount you plan to spend and any ideas you have for gifts.  Keep this with you and if you are out shopping and happen to find something throughout the year you can purchase it then, if your budget allows.

I had a note from a friend today that they had their first debt-free holiday this year after 20 years of marriage.  It is nice to see people be able to afford things they want without going into debt.

Nancy Kvamme