The holidays. As much as we love them, they’re a time of year we also rue thanks to overspending. Of course, if you can’t overspend then don’t is the advice you’ll hear, but what you’ll have a harder time hearing is people acknowledging “hey, if you overspend try doing these things to help ease the stress.” That’s where we come in to say we get it, it happens and if it does our South Florida community members are here to give you some tips and tricks to help pay it off.
Using Rewards for Statement Credits
Remember all those purchases you made on that rewards credit card? Here’s a chance to use them to their full advantage. All the rewards you collected while holiday shopping can be used as statement credits. Essentially your financial institution is helping you pay down your balance. Yes, that’s right we said it. With the money you earned while you spent, you can apply it to your balance to help make an extra payment and help pay down your balance a lot sooner.
GBM Community Member: “I used this method last year to pay down my cards sooner and it worked! I calculated it and if I paid just my minimum balance, it would have taken me, about four paychecks to pay down my holiday debt last year. When I had started this method it helped eliminate my holiday debt in about half the time. This year I didn’t spend as much, but there’s room to use it again.”
Turning Cash Back into Payments
Similar to using rewards as statement credits, our community members that have the Daily Rewards Debit account from our partner Tropical Financial Credit Union have saved their two cents they get back on each purchase and are now using that to pay down some balances. It’s helping them to cut down time they have to pay back holiday purchases and help to also put members back on track.
What is the Daily Rewards Debit Account? It’s the account that rewards you. Those who have it get two cents back on purchases. Every little bit counts and those little bits start to add up quickly, which is exactly how the cash back has helped members put money towards their debt.
Consolidating Payments to Save Money
If you have a lot of holiday debt and are paying interest on that debt, consolidating the payments into one can be a big help. You may not realize, but having multiple balances and paying interest on all of them could be costing you a lot more in the end. Normally when consolidating payments, community members opt for a balance transfer from one credit card to another. Preferably, balance transfers should be made to a card that has an introductory period (a time in which interest is not charged) and at a lower interest rate than their current balances. This will save you money in the long run because instead of paying extra on interest you’re paying more towards your actual balance instead.
GBM Community Member: “I did a balance transfer which put me ahead. I didn’t know that existed until I took the GBM Savings Quiz and spoke with a money coach who told me about it. I transferred my balance that I was being charged almost $60 of interest on each month and instead started paying down my balance and got rid of it quicker.”
Creating an Action Plan
If you started to rack up holiday debt this year and have no idea where to start, creating an action plan can help you. Get Beyond Money has created resources specifically for those who have found themselves in a bind and don’t know where to go, how to start, or what to do. The Get Beyond Money Action Plan is an interactive workbook that helps you visualize your finances so that you can start to take steps in the right direction when it comes to paying off not just holiday debt, but any debt at all.
Being stuck with debt isn’t fun and feeling like it will never go away is a reality. Our community is here to help empower you and let you know that there are ways to get past that debt a get to a secure financial future. If you find yourself stuck with some debt remember these tips and give them a try to get rid of it a lot sooner.