I want to start the new year on a good footing. You know what they say – the way you spend New Years’ is the way you’ll spend the rest of the year. Daunting stuff.
So I want to spend New Years’ with people I love. I want to spend it eating great food and drinking something other than cask wine. I don’t want to spend it wallowing in self-pity about credit card debt.
Here’s how I plan to mount a last-ditch attack on my credit card, to get it looking a bit slimmer before the new year hits me.
Silly season. It does terrible things to our waistlines and to our budgets. We want to get out loved ones something special, we want to wear a nice dress to the Christmas parties, we want to serve a lavish Christmas dinner. But with a bit of ingenuity, we can get around all of those things.
Wear an old dress or borrow a friend’s, and calculate how much money you have saved. Put that amount onto your credit card. Limit the amount of people you have on your present list, discuss having a limit on the amount you’ll spend or make presents.
Again, calculate how much money you have saved and pay off some of your debt. If you can pay off a chunk of your debt (on top of the solid repayments you should be aiming for on a weekly basis), you’ll start the next year with a much lighter load.
Sometimes the nicest thing about having a bit of time off work is the hours you spend lounging around in the sun in the backyard, reading the 10 books you intended to get into all year, or spending every spare moment with your kids at the local pool.
If you really want to dent your credit card, why not skip the holiday away this year and put the money towards your debt instead? I know it sounds harsh and if you’re desperate to get away, the new year might be more bearable if you take off. But if your priority is to take a big bite out of your debt, think about stowing the travels for a year and putting the money towards your debt.
It’ll be a big step before the tick of 12 o’clock, bringing in the New Year.
Pay Any Time
Interest is calculated daily, so what’s the point of waiting for the monthly bill? If you have a spare $20 because you decided to stay in that night, then transfer it immediately.
Make December the month of spare money- anything spare goes immediately onto your repayments. Suggest to all your friends that Christmas parties should be all housed at home, and set aside the savings for the voracious bit of plastic. Every dollar counts.
Permanantly, or just for December. See the difference it makes on your debt, and your quality of life, if you can avoid plastic for a month. You’ll start the New Year feeling brighter about your debt-free future and ready to achieve it in the new year.
You will get there. You will get your debt under control. Don’t kill yourself before New Year, just think of it as a debt repayment bootcamp before the new year hits. And then, in the new year, you’ll finish the rotten thing off.