It’s all too easy to go a little overboard during the holidays. The drinks, the dinners, the baked goods and of course the gifts can lead to full hearts and empty wallets come the New Year.
On average, Canadians usually spend around $1500 over the holidays. Although that number is expected to drop by roughly 30% in 2020 due to cancelled travel plans and tightening purse strings during the global pandemic, 85% of Canadians will still be using their credit cards to fund their festivities.
So, this winter, get ahead of your debt with these solid budget strategies and tips.
5 ways to stretch your budget and pay off Christmas credit card debt
- There’s a budget app for that
Tracking your budget and finances on an app may be just the ticket to a debt-free future. We’re all constantly on our phones anyway, so perhaps that’ll make it easier for you to ingrain this habit. Many apps are free and connect directly to your online banking, ensuring no minutia is missed. Features include debt tracking, budgeting, goal setting and more. Here are a few to check out:
- YNAB (you need a budget)
- Always shop around
Are you overpaying for your internet, cable, rent, phone, memberships or car and home insurance? When is the last time you shopped around? You could be leaving some of your hard-earned income on the table, especially if it’s been a few years since you checked out what the competition is offering. Once you have some numbers, you can even call your providers to negotiate and see if they will price match. Use your savings to pay off your post-Christmas credit card debt even sooner than you planned.
- Be a picky eater
One of the most fruitful ways to tighten up your budget instantly is to be very selective about how much you spend on food. Go ahead and tally up what you usually spend on to-go coffees, restaurant meals and groceries. Now challenge yourself by trying some of the following cash-saving tactics:
- Cook all your meals at home
- Take your coffee in a travel mug
- Buy in bulk
- Try meal planning
- Use less meat and substitute with protein-rich legumes, nuts and seeds
- Turn your trash into treasure
Get ahead of the spring-cleaning craze and cash in. Scan your home, basement, garage, attic and all the nooks and crannies therein for disused items that could very well start a bidding war. Whether it’s electronics, appliances, jewelry, clothing, tools, antiques or collectables, someone somewhere is surely searching for it. With so many second-hand marketplaces online, it’s never been easier to dust off disregarded items and find them a new home. Not only will you be able to use the proceeds to pay off Christmas credit card debt, but you’ll also reap the many benefits of a tidier space.
- Know your options
If your credit card debt is beginning to become unmanageable and you can’t seem to devise a plan that allows you to pay it off while meeting your monthly obligations, please reach out for support. The warm and knowledgeable experts at Faber are here as a resource. We’ll help you explore your options and come up with a strategy that fits your lifestyle. We can help you with a variety of solutions:
Stick with it and get support
We hope these actionable budget tips help you trim your expenses and pay off your post-Christmas credit card debt.
Feeling inspired? Be sure to strike while the iron is hot and start using some of these strategies today.
Please remember you don’t need to face consumer debt alone. The friendly experts at Faber are always here to consult with you on your options. Contact us today.