Did your holiday shopping list lead you to maxed credit cards, fast cash advance online payoffs and drained emergency savings accounts? If it did, you are not alone. There are plenty of Americans who will be facing quite a few financial challenges coming the first of the year. Do yourself a favor and give your budget a break.
It would not hurt you to pack away your credit cards for the next month or two. You will have to stave off any temptation to spend in order to make your budget balance once again.
* End of year bonus – If you are one of the lucky ones who receive this once of year treasure box, it may help you to use this cash to help make payments.
* Tax returns – Start planning how your tax return can be sent in to the most productive way. You may have to forego the shopping spree or spend less on vacation as replenishing emergency funds and paying down bills head to the forefront.
* Sell gift cards – You may have been one of the lucky ones who got gift cards this year instead of unwanted presents. Think about selling these cards instead of using them in order to help pay down your debt. Check with friends or family members who may be interested in purchase the cards. There are online websites which help to sell popular cards. You will lose a portion of the card's value during this transaction so compare websites.
* Sell – Take a close look at the gifts you did receive. You may have acquired new clothing items that you really do not need or want. If you have the receipt, you can take back the items. If the store will only give you a gift card, do not forget that you can sell those as mentioned above. If you received something new that will replace an older item, consider selling off the used item. List it online or have a garage sale to gain some extra cash.
* Make payments more often – Instead of making one monthly payment, you can pay towards your creditors and direct cash advance online lenders each week. This will lower the monthly interest charged to your account each month. It may best be worked out through online banking, but if you have to send checks in the mail every week, it still can be done. Pay close attention to cash advance online lenders since they usually have higher interest rates. If you call the office, most responsible lenders will accept payments at any time before the due date without penalty.
* Change spending habits – Make some drastic changes to the way you spend your income for the next few months in order to gather extra money for payments. It may not be the most comfortable lifestyle giving up your favorite foods or treats but it will be worth it in the end. Do not use your credit cards or direct online cash advances to support extras, save those for emergencies only.
Sometimes it takes tough decisions and living in discomfort in order to make a change. The best part of it all is that once your budget is back on track, you will have hindsight to help in making money management more effective. It would be great to continue those cutbacks long enough to pay off the debt and build a savings. Prep your budget with support for the year so holiday shopping will not put you back in the same financial spot.
The key to a successful budget is to monitor it continuously throughout the year. Do not ever think that once a plan is set, that there is no need to look back. If you can not monitor it you can not manage it. Keep track of your budget nearly every month and examine your credit report to make sure your plan is working.