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Help! I Overspent On Christmas!

Dec 27, 2016

It’s easy to go overboard for Christmas. Giving extravagant gifts to your family members seems like a great idea … until your budget is strapped come January.

Fortunately, you’re not facing this alone. Widget Financial is here to help! Check out these four ways you can patch up your finances and have things heading in the right direction before summer.

1. Budgeting advice

It’s very tempting to make only the minimum payments on debt. If you used a store charge card or a high-interest credit card from one of “the other guys” to purchase Christmas, making only the minimum payments will have you spinning your financial wheels. What’s more, making only minimum payments are a surefire way to ensure you’ll remain in debt for Christmases to come!

What you need is an aggressive debt repayment plan. Instead of looking to pay the smallest amount possible, identify the most you can afford to pay. The credit union can help with informative guides and worksheets on household budgeting.

Many of our members report that once they fully commit to an austere budget, they finally start making real headway on paying down their debt. Coming up with an extra $35 or $50 a month may be tough, but it gets things moving in the right direction and therefore, it’s worth it!

2. Refinancing major purchases

If you splurged on one or two major purchases, it may not be charge card debt you’re facing.  On occasion, slick salesmen entice people to give major purchases, like cars, for Christmas. Unfortunately, once you realize you’re in over your head with a high-commitment item like a car payment, there’s no undoing the deal.

Widget Financial can help. We work with quality dealerships in order to assure our members that they are getting the best pricing possible. This is why we always say, “be sure and insist on us at the dealership.” But let’s say you ended up at a high-pressure car lot that didn’t offer financing through the credit union. In this case, it’s important to remember that your credit union can help you refinance your purchase. Check our website for our auto and other major purchase loans as they often feature rates that could save you a bundle over the life of the loan. Consider refinancing the purchase over a longer term, or even restructuring the loan to pay less now. Either way, you’ll find more favorable and flexible terms at with us than you will at high-pressure dealerships.

3. Debt counseling

Does reading your bills and financial statements fill you with despair? Widget Financial can help you make sense of them.

Make an appointment to speak with a debt counselor and you’ll learn about your rights and responsibilities, and create a realistic plan to pay off your debt and avoid falling into the same trap next year.

4. Personal loans

Instead of making dozens of minimum payments, focus your debt into one manageable plan through a debt consolidation loan. Not surprisingly, taking this step can save you money in the long run by lowering your interest rate and monthly payment commitment.

Collateral usually isn’t necessary for these types of loans either. All you need is some basic personal information and a willing partner, like the credit union. Our loan specialists can help you organize and simplify your payments, working toward a debt-free life.

Your Turn: Feeling buyer’s remorse after a big holiday spending spree? Contact your friends at Widget Financial today and let us help you get on the right track!