Starting to feel the weight of all those holiday bills piling up? Our financial expert Rubina Ahmed-Haq's tips will help you get savvy and tackle those bills with ease.
Start with the high interest bills
Credit card bills are the biggest culprits of post-holiday debt. Pay down the bill with the highest interest first, while still making the minimum payments on the rest. See if you can use a lower interest loan to pay the higher loan. If you are overwhelmed with the amount of high interest debt you have, think of talking to a credit counsellor to consolidate your debt. Call the credit companies you owe money to and negotiate a lower interest rate.
Must-Read:These Financial Apps Will Save You Hard-Earned Money»
Return unwanted gifts
We get a lot of gifts at Christmas we have no intention of using. Return what you can for cash and gift cards. Sell anything else online. Use any cash to pay your debt. Save gift cards for next Christmas to reduce your shopping costs.
Must-Read: How to Tell a Good Buy From a Bad Buy»
Hold off on shopping
Until you consumer debt is under control you have no right to hit the mall. Buy only what you need like food and essential clothing. This is not the time to splurge on a new spring wardrobe.
Must-Read: Cut Down on Mindless Spending»
Live like a student for a month
We all remember what it was like to make things happen on a small amount of money when we were students. Go back to that thinking. Find free entertainment, stay in and cook, enjoy some quiet time after the hectic holidays. Leave the car at home and bike where you can, or take the bus.
Must-Read: Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Saving for School Tips»
Learn from your mistakes
Take a picture of your bill to remind you to keep your shopping under control next year. Plan to save 5 per cent more of your income this year. If you're saving nothing, then start with this small number and move up.
Must-Read: How smart are you with your money? Take the Money Smarts Quiz»