UNITED STATES─Well by now, Christmas is long over and we have started to realize that we have spent a massive amount of money on gifts, food and holiday decorating. The bills are starting to come in and for most Americans, we’ve had a gut punch to the stomach. Why such a strong gut punch?

Well, we’ve spent a lot more money than expected and now it’s time to figure out what bills to pay, how to pay them and how much you plan to pay to tackle that debt in a reasonable manner. Yes, I’m throwing quite a bit at you at once, so let’s rewind back a bit. We get so caught up at times in the holidays that we truly forget what we are spending and if we actually need what we’re spending our money on.

We swipe that credit card like a piece of candy, and as for that debit card there are so many Americans who do not keep track of how many times they enter that pin during the day or throughout the week they have no idea what’s in their checking or savings account. So you might have already gotten a bill for January 2020 and your mouth dropped. You’ve realized you’ve spent way more money than you ever expected. So the question now remains: what next?

Well for starters, you need to have a clear indication of what the balance is on each of your credit cards. Once you know that, then it’s time to consider which credit cards have a higher APR. Those cards you want to tackle first so you can knock down that interest as much as possible. Why? You don’t want to be paying a credit card for the sake of just paying a credit card, you want to eliminate that interest so when you make payments it’s actually knocking down the debt that you owe.

Next, try to pay more than the minimum due. Some of us might be in a pickle where we have no option, but to pay the minimum due, and that’s fine. You can sometimes only pay what your budget will allow you to pay. However, if you do have extra income use it to the best of your advantage to knock down that debt as much as you can and as quick as you can.

Now, it’s time to completely reevaluate your expenses as 2020 approaches! What is an absolute NEED and what is a WANT. There are things you need in your life and then there are those things that you want. Wants you can live without, needs you cannot. Do not ignore the fact that a want you have continued to ignore could be putting a dent in your wallet, a dent that you cannot afford and you need to tackle swiftly and quickly without any further hesitation.

That cup of Starbucks each day for a month could end up being your Cable, Internet, gas or some other expense that you absolutely have to pay each month. The key when tackle any expenses is to not allow yourself to get overwhelmed. Take a moment and gather your receipts and bills for the month. Organize them priority: absolute must, need and then want. Once you have all your wants in a pile calculate how much money you’ve spent and think about all the money you could have saved.

It might shock you to the core, but once that realization dawns upon you it will make a ton of a difference.

Written By Zoe Mitchell