7 On Your Side
7 ways to cure a holiday debt hangover
NEW YORK (WABC) -- No shortage of holiday spending that put many people in debt for the first time ever, according to comScore, which analyzes our digital world.
The National Retail Federation says holidays sales were up this year, totaling $579-billion. Most of the spending went toward cars, clothes and electronics. Upwards of $82-billion was spent on food and drinks alone. Online shopping over the holidays topped $40-billion.
It's no wonder we have a "spending hangover!" We have 7 tips to help cure that hangover.
1. FACE YOUR FINANCES
Yahoo's "Financially Fit" host Farnoosh Torabi says step 1 to getting healthy again is a simple reality check: face your finances
"Go on line, log on, check your balance - savings, your checking. Knowing where you stand is a huge part of this battle," Torabi said.
2. CASH ONLY
Next make a pledge to go green, use cash and debit your way out of the hole.
One couple, both 30 year olds, wrote to Torabi on Facebook. They did managed to get out of debt in a year's time by "eating out" less and "cutting out" plastic altogether.
Another couple automated all of their bill payment. That's "essential" says the expert to prioritizing your debt in a budget.
3. MAKE A PAYDOWN PLAN
"You can hook up your checking account to this website and pay down your debt automatically," Torabi said. "In some cases, these websites really help you pay down that debt faster than you would on your own."
4. TIGHTEN YOUR BELT
Put yourself on a spending diet. Do you need the gym membership or can you exercise outside free?
"Maybe that means instead of cable you go back to basic and watch TV online, or go to a neighbor's house to watch Showtime," Torabi said.
5. SELL UNWANTED GIFTCARDS
Sell those unwanted gift cards gathering dust in a drawer
6. SELL OLD ELECTONICS
Another asset to liquidate is your old electronics, which may be worth more than you think.
7. RETURN UNWANTED PRESENTS
If you're not into it, take it back. So many stores have no questions asked policies. Take advantage of it.
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