Getting out of Debt after Christmas Spending
Are you like a lot of people that spent too much money for Christmas and now are wondering how you’re going to make ends meet, just to pay for Christmas spending? Here’s some help.
First, there’s no sense in beating yourself up over what’s done. Just try to do better next Christmas and don’t spend what you don’t have.
Now let’s get down to work. You spent money that you couldn’t afford to spend and now you’re going to have to make some adjustments to meet your financial obligations. Depending on your personal situation, you may need to make anywhere from tiny changes to some drastic changes, and fast.
First off – it makes sense to first stop spending money. If you don’t need it, don’t get it. If you can do without it, leave it. Stop the money flow that’s going out unless it’s something you need – like medicine or food (not eating out food, but food as in you cook it). The more immediate changes to money going out is your eating habits and going places habits. Cook and eat at home, don’t go out partying and spending, etc.
Next, turn off or cut back on anything and everything that you can. This means changes the $150 a month cable or Dish TV to the bare minimum, or ask if it can be put on hold, meaning no bill. Take a lower cell phone plan out, or turn off what you can. Trust me when I say that the kids do NOT need their cell phones and you don’t need a $400 a month cell phone bill. Cut the kids’ allowance to half, or less.
If you’re in the habit of going out all the time, eating out all the time, etc., you CAN do without all that. Imagine how much money you will save that you can put to the bills and get out of debt after all that Christmas spending!
With the price of gas per gallon, not going when it’s not necessary will save you a lot of money. Not eating out will save a lot also. When shopping for groceries, buy foods that you actually have to cook, not premade or ready to eat. Cooking meals will save you a lot of money. Sure it takes more time, but the savings are worth it!
For even further savings, you can go into drastic frugal living mode. Believe me when I say that people have, can, and do live quite well practicing frugal living. Of course if you’re accustomed to spending a lot of money on frivelous things, then the change to frugal living might be a bit of a shock to you (and the rest of the family) but you’ll make it just fine.
Reuse and make do with what you have, rather than spending on things. You can improvise on a lot of things. Reuse zipper freezer bags by washing them and letting them dry. Wash and reuse heavy duty foil. Turn the central air and heat so that it doesn’t run as much. Don’t run the dryer as much. Turn the hot water heater to a lower setting. Wash dishes by hand and don’t run the dishwasher as often. Groom the dogs yourself instead of paying a dog groomer to do it. Switch out babysitting by bartering with a friend or neighbor instead of paying for it.
There’s a lot of ways to immediately save money and a lot of long term ways to save money. Depending on your particular needs and spending habits, you can make changes and get out of debt. But you’ve got to want to do this and be commited to making it work!
Sit down and make a list of everything that you can either do without (at least until you’re caught up on the bills) and everything that you can either turn off or put on hold. Then write the approximate amount that you’ll save on each of these things, and make a total. Some of the savings will be immediate, some won’t be noticed until the following month.
Take the money you’re saving and pay towards the Christmas debts you made. Do this as soon as you have the funds, not later. If you wait, you’ll be tempted to spend as usual and you won’t get out of debt from your Christmas spending.