Holiday spending, leftover holiday debt and you

It is the end of January. As a result, you are probably receiving bills associated with holiday spending in your mailbox. Perhaps you steadfastly stuck to a budget but are still feeling the strain of credit card bills and various purchases on your household income. Or perhaps you did not follow a budget and the amount of debt you have incurred is both surprising and frightening.

The good news is that because you are writing the story of your financial future, you get to decide how it ends. Your post-holiday finances may look bleak now, but there are things you can do to improve your situation. If your finances are truly spiraling out of control, it is important to talk to an attorney now before your situation worsens. An attorney may advise that it is a good idea for you to file for bankruptcy. However, there are also a host of other debt relief options an attorney may suggest that you take advantage of.

While you are waiting to speak with an attorney, it may help you to think ahead to next year’s holiday season. It does seem a little early to be planning, but by anticipating the season well in advance, you can better ensure that you will not undo the financial progress you will make in 2014 by spending outside your means during the holiday.

In addition, planning in advance will help you to think creatively all year long about how you can make the holidays spectacular without spending a fortune. You can look for items you want to purchase for your family to go on sale, you can begin making presents that will be inexpensive but beloved and you can save for the holidays a little at a time so that the 2014 holiday season will not end up on your credit cards.

Source: BlogHer, “ 7 Tips to Dodge Holiday Debt,” Dec. 12, 2013

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