The holiday season is over and now it’s back to reality, the reality of the holiday spending spree. The frightening waiting for the credit card bills and hoping you did not blow up your spending limits.

Before the holiday season began we wrote “10 Money Saving Tips for a Debt Free Christmas.” We hope the article helped you reduce some of your costs, but what if you blew up all your limits? Well the good news is that we are just starting out the New Year and if you act quickly you can mitigate any damages the holiday season may have caused.

Holiday Bill

1. Add’em up & Assess the Damage
First thing you’ll have to do is add things up, hopefully you have kept tracking of your spending throughout the holidays – if not just go through your bank and credit card statements and add them up. I know it may be painful, but you know what they say “no pain, no gain”.

2. Order of Payment
Set up an order or payment schedule; who will you pay first? I suggest you start with the department store cards as they often have the worst terms and conditions.

3. Temporary Spending Freeze
You have probably burned a little whole in your pocket with the holiday spending, so now you need to pay the price for it. Cut all your unnecessary costs and use all the extra cash to pay down all the debt you accumulated.

4. Extra Income
If after your temporary spending freeze you still do not have sufficient surplus in your budget try to pick up a few extra shifts or a temporary part time job. You can also opt to auction some things you do not need anymore online and use that income to pay holiday bills.

5. Plan for Next Holiday Spending
In order to avoid going through this again next year, start planning for it now. Set up a “Holiday Savings Account” and start contributing small amounts to it every month, this will hopefully save you some of the pain of this year.

If you have managed to stay within your budget then congratulations to you! Maybe you can share some of your tips with our other readers.

Did you blow up your holiday spending budget? How are you planning on dealing with it? Share your tips and tricks!



Ray is an ex-financial adviser and the founder of Financial Highway. Currently working in the financial industry and working towards completing his Chartered Financial Analyst, CFA, designation.