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MonaLeigh
08-23-2008, 10:12 PM
This is for a list article for Carolina Woman magazine. I'm writing an article list on paying off holiday debt quickly. I don't usually incur holiday debt b/c I buy all year-round. By the time Christmas comes I have everything I need. Does anyone have any tips?
thanks

alleycat
08-23-2008, 10:30 PM
Well, of course, I could suggest not going into debt in the first place, or not spending so much, or any number of the typical suggestions, but your question was "how to pay off holiday debt quickly".

This idea comes to mind. Make January a "frugal month". By Christmas most people have partied enough, gotten new clothes, gained a little weight by eating all the holiday goodies, gotten new toys for the kids, etc. Make January a month to do without except for the bare minimum. Cook at home rather than going out (a big pot of soup or stew sounds good to me on a chilly January day), don't buy any more clothes, limit entertainment except for simple things, wear sweaters and cut the heat down a little, cut out trips, borrow DVD's rather than buying or renting them, have a "polar yard sales" with the neighbors and sell all the crap you got for Christmas that you're never going to wear or use anyway--make it fun, take a part-time job with all those places that have to do inventory, carpool, bake bread or cookies and sell them for a profit, etc. The idea would be to see just how much the family could reduce their expenses for just that month, as well as do a few things to raise a little extra cash. It might even be a fun challenge. Set a goal and see if the family could meet it (and if they do arrange some kind of reward that possibly involves time rather than money).

That's about all I've got at the moment.

joyce
08-23-2008, 11:25 PM
I try to also buy throughout the year so I don't feel so stressed come Christmas. I've also used layaway so I am paying on the debt a little at a time. Then when I pick it up, it's all paid for. I've also used those wonderful charge cards and feel stressed come the January payment.

Clair Dickson
08-23-2008, 11:56 PM
Maybe use one of those 0% financing cards to buy time and pay it off over the number of months before the card has a normal rate. My MIL does that with her CC balance sometimes-- but the IMPORTANT thing is that you make as large of payments on it as you can. It's buying time where you're not being penalized for taking time to pay it off.

What about using autowithdrawl to take $20- $50 each week or whatever amount seems small enough that it won't really be missed. Then the money is not spent on other stuff because it's either paying down the debt (or being squirrled into a NOT easily accessibly account.)

I can't say I've done either of these because I don't spend money I don't have. I plan for the holidays be squirreling extra money away before the time comes and being realistic with my spending. I set a budget (with a little wiggle) and keep to it.

hammerklavier
08-24-2008, 12:07 AM
File your taxes in February, use the refund to pay off debt.