December Spending and January Bills: Taking Care of Your Debt Snowball

December Spending and January Bills: Taking Care of Your Debt Snowball
January 17, 2018 Torrey Park

Happy New Year. Now Here’s Your Holiday Credit Card Bills!

By Meghan Gardner, AFC®, FFC™

The holidays seem to sneak up on us each year, and the 2017 holiday season arrived surprisingly fast. Seriously, didn’t 2017 just start? Yet I’m looking at the calendar, and what to my wondering eyes should appear but 2018!!! Happy New Year!

You probably started to settle into the New Year nicely until you checked your mail only to find new credit card bills from your holiday spectacular. Unfortunately, this isn’t surprising considering a November 2017 study showed Americans were expected to spend an average of $983 on gifts alone. Now consider all of the cards, postage, additional food and drinks, and travel; if it didn’t seem like a lot of money before, surely you’re really starting to see how the costs add up. You may not have even realized how much you were spending until your credit card bills arrived. This can be a recipe for disaster, but you can’t go back in time so you have to figure out what to do from where you’re already at. This is where we come in.

Step 1: Take a deep breath and decide you are ready to take action.

Step 2: Contact a free Financial Coach. We have four different convenient locations to serve you.

Not sure which Financial Coach to contact? Email us at center@prosperityconnection.org with your preferred location, availability, and whether or not you are a veteran; we will take care of the rest!

Step 3: Review your statements to confirm all of the charges are correct. If not, contact your creditors right away and let your Financial Coach know during your session.

Step 4: Know what you owe by answering a few questions.

Who do you owe?

How much do you owe?

What is the minimum monthly payment?

What is the annual percentage rate (APR)?

Step 5: Create a budget and target your debts for pay down.

Step 6: Once your debt is paid off, create a holiday gift plan to avoid the credit card bills after the 2018 holiday season.

Here’s the best part, you don’t have to do it alone! Step number 2 (contacting a free Financial Coach) is key in giving you a partner to help keep you on the right path.