Bouncing back after the season of giving

While some people will be out spending the gift cards they received for the holidays, many of us will be looking at ways to get our checking account balance back in shape.

The holidays are a season of giving, and it's a great feeling when we can give our loved ones memorable gifts. However, once January hits, it's time to get our finances in order.

Whether you're starting a financial New Year's resolution or simply trying to replenish your funds, follow these tips to stabilize your accounts after the holiday season:

Organize your repayment plan
You have various methods at your disposal to repay debt incurred from holiday gifts. With credit cards, you want to repay your balance quickly while paying the least amount of interest possible.

One method for achieving this goal is to start with your card that has the highest interest rate. Because this balance can start to add up faster, taking care of it first can help ensure your debt doesn't grow too much. This is called the avalanche method.

Conversely, the snowball method involves tackling your smaller balances first. This strategy allows you to pay off your debts faster. If you need small accomplishments on the way to achieving a larger goal, this can be the best plan for you.

A balance transfer is another way to minimize your debt. This process consolidates all your debt to one account, and you may be able to find a deal that offers no interest payments for a certain period of time.

Return your impulse buys
Although the holiday season is about giving, you may have picked up a few items for yourself due to the many sales offered during this time. Consider whether you need these purchases and return the products that you can go without to get some of your money back.

Take on another job
Depending on how much you spent over the holidays, you may have to resort to drastic measures. If you have some extra time in your schedule and a marketable skill, find a way to make money off your talent. Additionally, look into moonlighting. If you're a teacher, for example, consider a tutoring gig on the weekends. While you may have to sacrifice some relaxation time, you may not have to keep the second job for too long.

For more information about smart ways to manage your finances, contact Landmark Bank.

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