Daily Dupaco

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Nursing a holiday spending hangover

It happens to the best of us.

“Holiday gift giving is fun, so it’s easy to get off track and overspend,” says Marcie Winkelman, a Dupaco  Money Makeover Artist and senior lending consultant at the JFK branch in Dubuque.

But it’s a new year and time to get back on track. Here’s how you can get on the mend and set yourself up for success for the next holiday season:

Address your holiday debt. The credit card statements have arrived, itemizing every last holiday purchase. Now what?

Find out whether Dupaco can help you consolidate your debt. Ask whether you can transfer those bills into an installment loan, such as a home equity or personal loan, or a loan secured with collateral.

“Borrowing on a personal loan is better than using a credit card, because the rates are usually going to be better, and you’ll pay it down so much faster,” Winkelman says. “You’ll have a set term, so you’ll be able to see the balance going down and the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Get a financial checkup. In the meantime, quit using those credit cards.

“If you’re still using the credit card, there’s a bigger issue,” Winkelman says. “You’re spending more than you’re making, and we need to review your budget.”

Schedule a free Dupaco Money Makeover to identify areas where you can cut costs and save money. Dupaco also offers free Credit History Lessons to help you learn how to drive up your credit score.

Get ahead for the next holiday season. Now is a great time to open a Dupaco Holiday Club savings account. Determine how much you spent this past season, and make any necessary adjustments to stay within your newly revised budget.

“Start saving and putting that money aside, even if it’s only $5 or $10 a week. It will help get you one step ahead for next year,” Winkelman says.

By Emily Kittle

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