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How to Beat The Post-Holiday Financial Blues

Buying and giving gifts is a lot of fun during the holidays but paying those bills in January is not. Financial Coach David Lester shared his tips on how best to handle those post holiday stack of bills.

Let Go of the Guilt

How many times after the holiday have you dreaded the mail because you know that HUGE credit card bill was on its way? You try so hard to spend reasonably but you always end up spending more. The solution is simple, let the guilt go. Avoiding that credit card bill will only make the problem worse. Remember that the reason you have the huge bill is because you were trying to be an awesome mom, dad or grandparent and that isn't something to feel bad about. Pat yourself on the back for being a great person and now make a plan to get it all paid back. How smart are you with your money? Take the Money Smarts Quiz

Make Debt Paments in Monthly Instalments

The debt cycle starts when you take a huge chunk of your monthly income to pay back your holiday credit debt and run out of money before the month is over. You then use your credit card to charge gas and food that you didn't have the cash for and it turns into a debt cycle that never gets rectified. The way to stop this cycle is to divide your holiday debt over a few months to make it affordable. The average person expects to spend around $900 around the holidays, so essentially you could make $300 payments for three months and not get sucked up into the credit card debt cyclone. Must-Read: Debt-Worthy or Save Up?

Trim the Financial Fat

Increase your payments to your debt. The way we can do that is by making a ton of "baby cuts" to our budget to create a snowball effect. It is human nature to hate huge changes to our habits, so the best way to save more money is to pay back debt by making baby cuts. Take lunch to work three out of five days in the week. Try your office coffee three days a week. Have a homemade pizza and movie night instead of going out once a week. Baby cuts won't allow you to feel the burn of paying back your holiday debt. Must-Read: Cut Down on Mindless Spending

Find Hidden Money at Home

There are tons of ways to make more money and most of them are probably in your basement. Take a trip down there and look around for ways to make money that you have been missing for all of these years. There are probably old comics, toys, furniture and collectables that you can sell them for extra money. You will also be getting rid of clutter at the same time. Old toys and comics could actually be worth a fortune, so make sure you do some research before you sell them. Have tons of baby clothes and items? Take them to a consignment site and you will more than likely get some money in return. Must-Read: 5 Ingenious Ways to Save Money All Year Long!

Make Money From What You Love to Do

Then look at your hobby station downstairs and see if you can make money by providing it as a service? Are you a skilled painter, cleaner or carpenter? Send out a message on Facebook or Twitter and see if anyone needs help with decorating, painting, accounting, physical fitness or whatever! Must-Read: Money Lessons from the Rich

Use Your Tax Return Money

The average North American tax return is around $1,500 so you can use that as a lump sum towards your holiday debt. If there is money left over you can use some of it to save for next year. Place it in a high interest savings account and leave it there until next year's shopping time comes.You'll be ahead of the game. Must-Read: Gail Vaz-Oxlade's Saving for School Tips

Take Things Back to the Store

After the holidays keep your receipts and see if you can take anything back. If you have extra cans of gravy, take them back. If you have extra bottles of booze, take those back too. If you bought gifts and didn't need to give them, take it back. If people didn't like the gifts you got them, take it all back right away. The money is much better on your credit card than sitting under the dying Christmas tree. Must-Read: Raising Moneywise Kids

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