6 Simple Ways to Get Out of Christmas Debt Fast
There’s nothing like ringing in the New Year surfing on mounds of debt. Don’t you just love Christmas? It seems like almost every year (and in my defense, I think I’m getting a little better each year) I let myself get so wrapped up in the spirit of giving that I forget that I can’t afford to do that. I overspend, overbuy, and let the spirit of the holiday blind and bind me financially.
The saddest part about this is that come December 26th, I will likely forget exactly what I spent all of this money on and will have to carry the burden deep into 2018.
I’m walking into 2018 with a financial burden on my back as big as Santa’s sack. It’s not fun and it’s kind of sad, but it is what it is. Moaning about it will get me nowhere. Instead, I’ve come up with a list of ways to spend less and make more to pull me out of this hole within the first half of 2018.
I have a plan and if you need one, too- then this post is for you.
This plan is simple enough to incorporate into your life without making any dramatic changes. It will work for you if you work at it, and together we can be debt free before summer (or that is the goal anyway).
So here are:
6 Simple Ways to Get Out of Christmas Debt Fast
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Start a Side Hustle
In order to pay off the excess, we need to be bringing in some extra cash. We need a Side Hustle! If you’re like me and live within the constraints of your schedule- there are plenty of ways to make money from home without having to add a commute and/or second job to your resume. Here are a couple of ways:
-Online Surveys. You can do this from the comfort of your home, in the break room at work, in line at the grocery store, or just about any time you have a free minute. Check out my post: How to Make Money From Home with Online Surveys. Opinion Outpost is a great place to make money taking surveys and the post goes into detail about it.
-Swagbucks. Just like the online surveys, you can do this anywhere at any time, and having a flexible way to earn some money is priceless (like how I did that? LOL). There are a variety of small online tasks that you can perform to earn yourself some cash here and there on Swagbucks, so if you have a short attention span, or hate repetitive work like surveys, this is a good option for you. Swagbucks offers a referral bonus, so you can earn some extra cash just by spreading the word, too. Check out Swagbucks here.
Make Money As You’re Spending it.
Let’s be honest. From time to time, you’re going to have to eat, buy clothes, shoes, printer ink, etc… Normal expenses will arise, but if you need to spend, you also need to make sure that your money is working for you.
Have you ever tried Ebates? Well, I have and I LOVE it. In fact, I kick myself just thinking how much money I could have saved or made had I not started using Ebates sooner. Seriously. It’s the easiest way to make money on things you already need to buy anyway.
Here’s how it works: Next time you log onto Amazon to make a purchase, don’t. Instead, go to Ebates and search for Amazon. Once it comes up, click on their link to Amazon and you earn a percentage back of what you spend on Amazon. That’s it. It’s really that easy and there is no catch.
Think of it this way: instead of going to Amazon directly and purchasing an item for $10. Stop at Ebates, and click on THEIR link to Amazon. The link takes you right to Amazon’s site- there’s no difference in the site. It’s the same Amazon and the product you’re buying is the same price, etc… BUT since you went through Ebates, you’ll be getting a percentage back on that purchase. That’s it. And if you refer people to Ebates, you both get a referral bonus. It’s truly a win for everyone. Check out Ebates here.
Don’t Buy Anything Without a Coupon!
I’ve mentioned this in detail before, but it bears reminding. Get the most from your hard-earned cash and make sure you use a coupon or promo code EVERY SINGLE TIME. It’s as easy as doing a quick Google search and/or utilizing sites like Groupon, RetailMeNot, CouponCabin, and coupons.com to no end to get what you want at a discounted price. You can find an in-depth explanation of how and where in my post, 10 Ways to Save Money Now.
Let it ALL go!
Chances are that you are sitting on a goldmine of stuff that you don’t use and can sell for cash. Start by cleaning out ALL the spaces in your home. If you haven’t used it in a year, use it to make yourself money and free up some space in your home. Here’s how:
-Sell unused items online. Check out my Online Buy Sell Trade Basics for more details.
-Get rid of cable. There are other options that can save you HUNDREDS of dollars! There’s more info on this in 3 Reasons to Cancel Cable.
-Cancel subscriptions and/or negotiate with providers. Do you REALLY use or need your SiriusXM? How often do you watch Netflix? When’s the last time you called AT&T about promotions that apply to you?
Tighten Your Belt.
-Have a Plan. Review your financial situation. Which credit cards are you paying the highest interest on? What are your balances on those cards? Put together a good debt-reduction plan. We don’t want to spend the extra money we’ve made on finance charges.
-Make wise choices. Do you really need that latte? Can you start menu planning to save money on food? We need to dissect our every day and see where we can squeeze the money from. Every penny counts. (If you want to get SUPER frugal and do things like getting rid of paper towels, check out 10 Ways to Save Money Now).
Save for Next Christmas.
Another great way to cut Christmas costs is to buy clearance gifts all year-round to give at Christmas time. There are a lot of after holiday sales and/or clearance deals all year. I make a point to check the clearance whenever I’m in my favorite stores- and it has come in handy so many more times than you know!
We got ourselves into this mess because we started off on the wrong foot. As always, you can save yourself some stress and money by saving for Christmas all year. Even as little as $10 a week ($520 per year) can help to keep you out of the hole next year.
If you're in the hole because of the holidays, check out 6 Simple Ways to Get Out Of Christmas Debt Fast. #HolidaySpending #SpentTooMuch #SideHustleTime Click To Tweet
Carry on… but with a smaller Santa Sack.
Keep all of this in mind throughout the year and for next Christmas. Depend on your clearance finds for the people in your life who aren’t too close, but you love enough to send a gift to. Your heart may be bigger than your wallet, and while having a big heart is a good thing, having a massive amount of debt is not. Only buy what you can afford and people will understand.
Let your goal for 2018 be to stay debt-free and next year you can start off 2019 in the black.
Did you overspend this holiday season? If so, what’s your plan? If not, how’d you do it?