If you’re reeling from an expensive holiday shopping season, you’re not alone. Most Canadian households spent an average of $1,000 on gifts and entertainment throughout the season. That amount might seem reasonable if you’ve planned for it. But, most people did not save in advance and turned to credit cards or their lines of credit to pay for it.
— Breakfast Television Toronto (@BTtoronto) January 4, 2018
5 ways to pay off your holiday bills faster than normal
1) Go through anything that wasn’t used or consumed during the holidays and return it! This will reduce your outstanding balances on your credit cards.
2) Cancel and defer ANY unnecessary expenses (big and small) for the month of January and use that money to pay off your holiday bills.
3) Sell something that you don’t want or need. For example, if you were gifted a new tablet, put the old one up on Kijiji and get some cash for it that you can use to pay your bills.
4) Cash in ALL of your loyalty points for cash-back on your purchases. If you don’t have this option on your credit cards, use other loyalty rewards to pay for your regular expenses like groceries.
5) If you have the ability to take on extra shifts at work, make more commission, or do some “side-hustle” jobs to make a little extra money, now is the time to do work a little extra.
In over your head?
If you can’t pay off of your bills this month, you may want to consider a consolidation loan or line of credit to pay back your bills, but at a reduced interest rate. BUT, neither of these repayment options deal with overspending issues because those are behaviours that take concerted effort to fix. Do your best to make the largest payment on the most expensive balance so that you eliminate that one first. Then move your focus onto the next one.