The holiday is almost over.
Now, the Christmas lights have started to dim and the exchanging or giving of gifts have all been done. By now, you probably have spent a lot of money or used your credit cards like there's no tomorrow.
Then, paying off debt or trying to pay it off begins. But for some, paying it off can and will take more than just 30 days.
Paying off debt fast may not be on your top priority list especially when you have a lot of New Year's resolutions in mind.
But not making it a top priority and not paying the charges in full when they're due are recipes for interest charges and penalty/late fee, if you happen to miss the payments even by a couple of days.
Is it really possible to pay off your holiday debt in just 30 days?
Crazy holiday debt statistics: How many people go into Christmas debt? Let's say a lot. Many people are still paying holiday credit card debt from 2016.
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How to Pay Off Holiday Debt Of Yours in 30 Days
The answer to the above question is yes. My wife and I have done it many times before.
You'll be surprised that it can be done even when you think it's impossible. Here are some ways you can adopt to pay off your holiday debt in 30 days.
1. Eat for less than $5 a day
According to the recent USDA report, the average grocery bill per month for a family of 4 is $707.90. That's $22.84 per day if you divide the monthly amount by 31 days.
You can cut down your grocery bill to $5 or less per day. Sound crazy? It may be. Is it workable? Absolutely, yes.
Back then, we (i.e. my family of 3) were able to live off on a tightly budgeted grocery bill- read the full post here. Thanks to the $5 Meal plan, we were able to work around our budget and eat better (quantity and quality wise) than ever before.
This meal plan helped us identify what we were doing wrong, what ingredients we needed to use, and so many others. It is so magical that I wish we had used it a long time ago.
Want to challenge yourself to cut down on grocery and need something to help you with that? If yes, click here to checkout the $5 Meal plan and cut your grocery bill and use the savings to pay off holiday debt in 30 days.
“Pay off holiday debt” projected savings: $557.90
2. Adjust your budget right away
Aside from adjusting your grocery budget, you may find that there's always more room to adjust in your budget during the first quarter of the year more specifically in January.
By the start of the year, you may find your miscellaneous expenses may need to be adjusted since you don't have a lot gift buying to do.
You may also find you don't need to pay the same amount for your car insurance since your rate is going to fall down because of your driving experience and car age.
Those are just examples that can change and that's why you need to adjust your budget.
If you take a look at your previous year's budget and use that as a gauge, you'll find there are categories within your budget you can revisit.
Every year, my wife and I look at our projected budget using our printable budget binder kit, which is what we used to pay off $40K debt and to save $70K at the same time in 2.5 years. It's so easy to use that my nephew in high school uses it to budget and keep track of his bills.
I highly recommend it for those who want to make their budget work for them. Click here to buy the printable binder kit for only $7.99, which is 65% off of its original price of $19.99.
We also use Spentapp, a FREE app designed to help us make better financial decisions. It's magical and so easy to use that we were able to identify expenses we could easily cut and not get affected in negative any way.
You won't have to organize your expenses manually as Spentapp will help you that. It will also recommend financial decisions, which I recommend you highly consider. If you ever need to make a working budget and get your expenses in order, Spentapp is your solution.
Click here to Spentapp for FREE and start working on your budget like a pro.
“Pay off holiday debt” projected savings: $230.00 (my average every year)
3. Use your credit card rewards
If you spent a lot of money this past holiday, chances are you used your credit cards to buy those nice gifts.
If you used credit cards that offer rewards, then, it's now the best time to use those rewards to pay off some of your holiday debt.
That's what we are doing this coming January. While we didn't buy a whole lot because we bought a lot of our stuff around Black Friday, we will use our rewards to pay off some of our holiday debt.
We used our Discover Card credit card, which had 5% cash back on Amazon and other retailers. These purchases and plus payments for other utility bills we used this card for, we accumulated enough cash back to pay a good amount of our debt.
Our projected cash back these November and December is $250.00. Looking for a great card with great cash back? Click here to apply for a Discover Card.
“Pay off holiday debt” projected savings: $250.00
4. Start a side hustle
If you've always wanted to make extra money, then, the new year is the best time to start doing it.
Find a side hustle you can make money fast without having to leave home. Whether it is selling the extra clothes you receive from last year or something else, you can find a gig or two to help you make extra money.
One gig that works well for us is taking surveys. On average, we make $200/mo on a couple of survey sites while spending only a couple of hours each month. Sometimes, we also receive free products to try, which we in turn sell for money.
Here are some of the sites we use constantly. They're easy to use and they offer great rewards like cash and products. I highly recommend you sign up for as many sites as you can so if one doesn't work for you, then, you have others to use.
That's how we get the most from survey sites since we know their demands for opinions vary from one month to another. If there's nothing good on one site on this month, then, it's highly likely there would be some on other sites.
- Ipsos I-Say ($620/mo. The survey site people are raving about and that keeps on giving)
- MySurvey (Earn 2,000 points as a sign-up bonus; It has paid $32M+ since 2014)
- MyPoints (Desktop l Mobile) (Earn up to $50/survey; $5 Bonus after first 5 surveys)
- Vindale Research (Earn $2 bonus for signing up; I’ve earned more than $1,100 so far)
- Swagbucks (Earn $10 sign up bonus instantly)
- Survey Club (Potentially earn at least $50 per survey)
“Pay off holiday debt” projected savings: $200.00
5. Eliminate junk foods
You probably ate a ton of unhealthy but good-tasting foods these past Christmas and holidays.
Then, now is the time to cut out the junk foods and start a healthy life. Sounds like a New Year's resolution, right? It kind of is.
I know a couple of people who spend (on average) $60 a month between sodas and snacks from the vending machine and from the grocery stores.
I hear you when you say it's hard to cut those out.If you can't completely cut them out or want to find alternatives, I recommend CrateJoy.
From specialized beef jerkies to international foods to even cosmetics and grooming kits, you'll find whatever it is you want there.
With CrateJoy, you won't have to go to stores to find what you need. It will send everything to your doorstep every month.
I came from the Philippines and like to eat international foods (not just the ones from the Philippines). I only find those through CrateJoy (see the international foods here).
As much as I want to cut out snacks, I like eating snacks made from my country and other countries. That's one of the battles I haven't seemed to win over. CrateJoy is my solution and it could be yours, too.
My monthly subscription cost on CrateJoy? It's only $13/mo. It's very affordable and the product selections are beyond outstanding (and that's an understatement).
Click here to start seeing the wonders CrateJoy offers.
“Pay off holiday debt” projected savings: $60.00
6. Use your bonus
While many get their bonuses before the end of the year, some people get theirs on the first month of the new year. That's me.
If you happen to have gotten your bonuses at the end of the year, good for you as you may have thought of using or used that bonus to pay for your holiday shopping.
But for us who get their bonuses the following year (i.e. January), you should consider using that to pay off holiday debt of yours than using it to buy other stuff.
You may be tempted to use it for a dream vacation or to buy a fancy thing or two. Consider paying off your debt as this will help you improve your financial situation at the start of the year.
As my mom and dad used to say, if you want to do something good, start it at the beginning of the year.
“Pay off holiday debt” projected savings: $583.00 (I'm using the actual bonus I would receive in January 2018)
These are the ways to pay off your holiday debt in 30 days. Don't be one of those people who would be included in the Christmas debt statistics.
Paying that holiday debt off in 30 days may seem difficult to do. It may seem impossible and look daunting to tackle on especially in just 30 days; however, it really is easy.
When you tackle the issue head on and have clear strategies (like the ones above) on how to pay off it, then, paying it off is easy to do.
Do you have any holiday debt? If yes, are you going to pay them early next year?