The holidays are over, but many Americans will continue to be reminded
of them when their credit card bills come in the mail. In fact, holiday
spending is responsible for a more than 25 percent spike in calls to consumer
credit agencies seeking help for debt during the first few months of the
year. If you have credit card debt from the holidays that you are not
sure you will be able to pay off within the next few months, you’re
Experts agree that the best way to use a credit card is to treat it like
cash. This means that all credit purchases should ideally be paid in full
each month at the end of the billing cycle. Not only is this good for
keeping track of spending, but it can help consumers avoid paying interest,
which can grow to be very costly over time. Making only the minimum payment
each month can cost cardholders thousands more than the amount they originally
charged, making this an expensive payment option. In this way, debts can
quickly become unmanageable and drive an individual and their family into
While there is no way to undo holiday shopping, there are at least a few
things that a consumer can learn from it:
Interested in learning how much your holiday debt is really costing you?
Bankrate.com has a free
credit card minimum payment calculator that allows users to estimate how long it will take to pay off a debt
and how much it will ultimately cost. Simply plug in the credit card balance,
interest rate, and how much you are paying each month. This tool is as
sobering as it is useful!
- Pre-holiday budgeting and planning is very important. If you plan on using
plastic to make purchases, have a plan in place to have the balance paid
off in one to two months, but no longer than 90 days.
- Take a look back at your holiday spending habits and identify where you
may have went wrong. Consider this tip: plan to put aside some money each
month to match the amount you spent this past Christmas so that you will
accumulate that amount again by the end of 2016. If you find that you
don’t have room in your finances to do so, consider cutting back
on your holiday spending this year. Keep in mind that Christmas is not
about how much money you spend, but about how much time you spend with
those you love.
For more financial advice and information on debt management solutions,
contact Wadhwani & Shanfeld today to schedule a no-cost consultation
with a Los Angeles bankruptcy lawyer at our firm. Our attorneys are Board
Certified in Bankruptcy Law by the American Board of Certification and
have successfully helped more than 15,000 satisfied clients.
Learn more about how we can help by calling (800) 996-9932.