We do a lot of overindulging during the holidays.

We take an extra day off work, eat an extra piece (or two) of pie, and sometimes charge more than we can afford on our credit cards.

As the holidays wrap up and post-holiday credit card bills start rolling in, this is when many people really realize how much they actually spent over the holidays.

If you find that you overdid it, then don’t despair. Here are some tips to help you get back on track after overspending during the holidays.

Cut Back on Spending

The first step in getting out of debt is to stop borrowing.

If you overspent during the holidays you need to cut back your post-holiday spending.

The fastest way to do it is to consider a no-spend day. It forces you to take a close look, and seriously consider if a purchase is really necessary. Locking up your credit cards where it’s not readily accessible can also be helpful to avoid temptation.

Create a Payment Plan

If you racked up some debt over a few credit cards, then make a commitment to start paying down the debt.  You can start by paying off the card with the highest interest rate first and working your way down to the card with the lowest rate, or paying off the smallest loan first and working your way up to the largest.

It’s a matter of preference. But ultimately, the most important thing is to START working on getting things cleared up.

Learn from the Mistake

Once the cards are all cleaned up, it’s easy/tempting to start spending again … little by little but don’t give in to the temptation to start over-spending again.

Instead, take the money you were paying each month on your debts and begin to save it. Better yet, save it automatically. That will give you a financial cushion the next time an emergency strikes.

Plan for Next Holiday Season

Start saving now to avoid debt next holiday season. Take a look at what you spent the last few months on gifts, travel, food and other holiday-related items. Divide that amount by 12 and put that much away in a savings account.

At the end of the day, like with most debts acquired, it’s beneficial to look back on what you received in exchange for the debt.

Be grateful for the item. Be grateful for the debt, and get started to putting your life back together.

To your success!

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