You swore it wasn’t going to happen this time. You made a pact with yourself that you’d keep it in check this year. And you planned for it, setting aside a little money each week as it approached. This time it would be different. You were going to navigate the 2014 holiday season without increasing your debt load.

But the sales… oh, there were sales. You found that perfect little something to light up your significant other’s eyes. And don’t forget the last minute requests from the kiddos. Was a new mountain bike just the thing to make her holiday dream come true? Perhaps a Leap Frog gaming system? Or did he ask for every Dr. McStuffins toy and tee his little eyes beheld?

If you found yourself overspending during the holidays you’re not alone. Lots of us bust our budgets when it comes to making our loved ones smile, but that choice comes with a price. When January arrives and the statement rolls in we can find ourselves overextended and overwhelmed.

Call it temporarily tightening the budget or fine tuning the finances; if you came out of the holiday season with more debt than you started you’re probably looking for solutions to pay it down a.s.a.p. Here are a few ideas to help you kick start the process:

Review Your Rates:

Start with the plastic. Is your interest rate on your card as low as it could be? Consider talking with one of our Financial Services Specialists to see how we can help. Our Specialists are problem solvers and architects of opportunity. They can explore all available options to help you get out of debt and start getting ahead.

Cell Service:

Are you actually using all the bells and whistles you’re paying for every month? Could you reduce the cost of your plan with your service provider? The only way you’ll know is if you ask. Let them know you need to cut back on your monthly expenses and ask how they can reduce the cost of your plan.

Childcare:

This is usually a significant expense in any parent’s budget. If you’re struggling to keep the roof over your head and food on the table, consider asking your daycare provider for a short term discount on their services until you get back on your feet.

Television Service Providers:

Television can be expensive! Take a look at what you’re currently paying for. Are you watching all of those channels? Are you into movies rather than TV? Just sports? Could you reduce the cost of your current entertainment package? Pay attention to your viewing pattern over the course of a week and see what you can live without. There are many ways to reduce this expense and still have access to the entertainment you enjoy.

Talk With a Financial Coach

If you need more than a few suggestions to help you get back on track or just want another perspective on your current strategy we have a great team of Financial Coaches here at Verity that can answer your questions and tackle financial quandaries. And it’s free to speak with us! Whether you swing by the branch, send us an email, or give us a ring we’ll set you up with a coach who can help you get where you want to be.

Alicia Diefenbach

My name is Alicia Diefenbach and I’m a Community Relations Specialist at Verity Credit Union.  I absolutely love my role at Verity!  I have the opportunity to explore the communities in which we’re located, reach out to organizations and individuals making these places dynamic, inviting places to live, and get involved with activities that support their well-being.

In my spare time I dote on my vegetable garden.  It still never ceases to amaze me that I can create my dinner out of dirt, some seeds, and cooperative weather.   I love my dog, Frank.  Also, I go to rock shows.  A whole lotta rock shows.

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