This year, I am going to take a different approach and seek to conquer a new issue every month. Of course, in the month of January, you have your New Year’s resolution, but also Christmas debt. Let’s see how to knock out both.
Well, by now you are seeing your bank account and credit card statements. You are probably thinking what most Americans are thinking: “We overdid it again this year.” The first step is admitting it, but no one ever talks about the second step: paying it forward. You need to reevaluate your budget heavily to fit in the new bills. This is a critical time to pay off your holiday debt without paying tons of interest, so the sooner the better.
New Year’s Resolution
New Year’s resolutions are supposed to be free, but recently I’ve heard resolutions that actually make you shell out more cash. New Year’s resolutions are supposed to be free and practical. Instead of saying you will join a gym, simply say you will be more active or lose weight. Joining a gym doesn’t mean you will get your money’s worth. If you absolutely have to get a gym membership, shop around. Do not go for the gym chain most popular, because you may have a local gym that is much cheaper and may even be closer to cut down on gas. If your resolution is to dress nicer, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to shop at the most expensive stores. Consider finding a nice moderately priced clothing store by posting on Facebook and asking for help. You will be surprised at the answers and help you receive. Also try asking people at your place of work where they buy their clothes.
Tax time is everybody’s favorite time of the year, unless of course you owe. However, this not a time to just blow all your money. In fact, this is the perfect time to pay off some debt and take care of car and home maintenance. Instead of buying a flat screen TV, get a tune up or new tires to help preserve the life of your car. Buying a car is a costly expense, so you should make taking care of the one you have a huge priority. Instead of going on a shopping spree, wear the clothes you have and instead pay off some of your credit card debt or a bill in collections. I make it a point every year to pay off something, whether it’s an incurring balance or debt, and I have the climbing credit score to prove it. This year I will paying off my last school loan, insert scream, which will significantly raise my credit score.
All in all, January can be a hectic time. You are trying to start the new year off right, or you realize you overspent for the holidays. Well now that you know what you have to do, you can also be prepared for next year. Planning ahead, creating a budget, and Christmas shopping early, if you have the room to spare, can help you save tons of money. Keep paying off some of your debt every single tax season and by year five, or sooner, you should owe no one. Being out of debt will help you to budget more accurately so that you don’t end up in the same rut over again.
Happy New Year!
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