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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

8 ways to cut costs after Christmas and pay off those credit cards

To reduce credit card debt budget for higher payments
Stop adding to credit card debt to make payments count
By Cormac Reynolds

January is, for many, the most depressing time of the year. We can feel podgy, broke and depressed following two weeks or entertaining and enjoying ourselves. In this guide we look at 8 simple steps you can take to at least solve your post Christmas financial problems.

8. Face up to those bills and get your total owing figure down on paper

The first step to tackling your post Christmas debt is to face up to it. Rather than tucking away those bills without even looking at them you need to take a breath and take to your calculator and coffee. Whilst the initial figure can be scary, once you know what you’re dealing with you can begin the process of driving down those debts.

7. Cut down on those little luxuries

Whilst this sounds like an obvious piece of advice, it can often be surprising how much the little and often purchases add up. If you purchase lunch every day, then switch to a packed lunch; or if you can’t walk past that coffee shop every morning without buying a drink then switch to a thermo flask. You should also consider switching to economy brands for your weekly shop.

6. Go coupon crazy

Whilst coupons don’t seem like they add up to a lot, if you go on a coupon hunt for your weekly items you’ll save a surprising amount. Sites such as Oz-coupons.com can be a great place to look if you live in the right areas.

5. Budget like your life depends on it

Drawing up a budget isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, however it helps you realise just where your money goes. Knowing your daily, weekly and monthly spends is half the battle in becoming better with your money.

4. Review your monthly outgoings

Sit down with your bank statement and direct debit list and work out which ones you really need to keep. Little luxuries such as the gym, monthly magazine subscriptions and any other memberships that you may hold can be cancelled (as long as you’re not in a legally binding agreement with them).

3. Go green at home

Energy bills are amongst the biggest spends for the average household, so start switching off those lights, opt for a shower instead of a bath and turn that thermostat down.

2. Consider an additional job

Whilst you can feel like doing nothing else but sleep when you return home, you should at least consider a part time job for your spare time. If you work Monday to Friday then a little weekend work may help dig you out of your financial hole quicker than you think!

1. Still struggling? Contact those creditors

If you find that after all this advice you’re still struggling, you should contact each and every one of your creditors to arrange a repayment plan; they are required by law to consider any reasonable repayment offer.

If you find that you just can’t face it, or if your creditors are refusing to budge and demanding immediate sums of money then contact your local Citizens Advice Centre; here they will advise you on your legal rights, and can sometimes even contact your creditors on your behalf.

About the author: Cormac Reynolds is a lover of sports and interested in football and also the great outdoors. He loves SEO and social media.

Image license: 401(K) 2012, Creative Commons