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Suffering from “Santa Shock”

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That magical time of the year where you spend time with family and friends, eat yummy baked goods, and exchange gifts is over. Santa and his elves are on a well-deserved vacation, resting up until the next Holiday season. By now, your gifts have been delivered, opened, and maybe even returned to the store.

Now, just one thing remains: the bill. When you check your credit card statement online, you quickly realize that you definitely overspent on the holidays. You’re not alone. Roughly 77% of Americans admitted to exceeding their holiday budget.  If your face looks anything like this, you’re likely suffering from Santa Shock.

Santa Shock: The miserable feeling that sets in when you think about paying off your holiday debt.

Once you’ve calmed down a bit, your next thought is probably “how am I going to tackle this debt?” Fear not! Below, we’ve listed a few tips to quickly pay off your holiday debt and how to avoid Santa Shock next year.

Cut Expenses. Extra cash would be great right about now, right? You could probably find some extra money in your budget by making a few simple changes. Packing your lunch can save you upwards of $100 each month. You’ll also save money by cancelling your unused gym membership, cutting your cable or getting rid of your streaming services for a few months.

Consolidate Your Debt. If you used a bunch of different credit cards with high interest rates and varying payment dates, it might be a good idea to consolidate your debt to a low interest credit card. This way, you’ll only have to keep up with one monthly credit card payment, and any interest that you pay will be lower. Look for a card that has no balance transfer fees.

Increase Your Income. Walk right into your manager’s office and demand a pay increase! OK, maybe that’s not the best advice, but there are other ways to increase your income. Look for additional ways to make money, like a part-time job, selling clothes and shoes online, driving for Uber or Lyft. Bringing in extra funds will allow you to pay down that Holiday debt faster.

Open a Holiday Club Account. Don’t find yourself in this same position next year. Instead, open a dedicated savings account, where you can set money aside for the holidays all year long. Make automatic deposits into the account so you can save without even thinking about it. Then, on the first business day in November, the money will be transferred to your account so you can spend it on whatever you need.

 

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