Getting over holiday debt hangover

January 5, 2010 4:10:15 PM PST
10 ways to get over your holiday debt hangover. Plus, find out how to save thousands in 2010 without sacrificing quality or service!

  1. Shrink Your Debt Today: There are websites that will show you how to trim the fat on your bills, calculate whether or not you should consider balance transfers, and show you were to get cheaper services. The beauty is that you can have the same level of service at a much better price, saving up to $1500 a year on your car, credit card and bank interest rates.

  2. Don't Pay More Than you Have To at Home: Don't sign up for every warranty. Look at what insurance you really need. Cut back on electricity (using LED bulb) and Cable (using Hulu and other websites).

  3. Talk is Cheap. Cut Cell and other Phone Costs: Many people will get a cell phone for the holidays - still, 8 out of 10 cell phone owners pay for service they don't use or rack up regular and excessive overage charges.

  4. Get A Customized Debt Diet Checklist: Brand-new financial management website zendough.com (developed by TransUnion Interactive) provides customized analysis and advice based on credit score, debt-to-income ratio, etc. They can even help a family dig out of debt by giving you an actionable step by step plan.

  5. Sell What You Don't Need/Trade For What You Do Need: Not only is it getting easier to keep your old electronics out of the landfill, but you may even get some free cash in exchange. Services such as www.buymytronics.com, www.gazelle.com, www.myboneyard.com and www.greenphone.com recycle or refurbish your old tech and send you a check in return. They take cameras, cell phones, MP3 players, game consoles and more.

  6. Go Coupon Crazy: One addiction that is good for 2010: addicted to finding money off, money back, even getting things for free. A family of four can save up to $3,000 a year - with no change in their quality of life.

  7. Cash In Gift Cards, Rewards Points, etc: Most people have real currency right under their noses and have no idea. Think frequent flyer miles - spread across several airlines or credit cards? Do you have rewards points scattered here and there? Check out www.points.com: Convert rewards points into cash or gift cards. Swapping for one gift card may save $50.

  8. Take Advantage of Fabulous Freebies: On websites such as www.kidsmealdeals.com, www.heyitsfree.net and www.totallyfreestuff.com

  9. Set Up a Savings Account You Can't Steal From: One trick is to name the account: daughters college, trip to Hawaii, Debt Free - something that will help you resist the urge to rob from Peter to pay Paul. A good website is www.smartypig.com

  10. Reverse Bidding: the "wave" of the future: That's right, think eBay in reverse? you win when you bid LOWER than everyone else. It's true, instead of the price going up, it keeps coming down.
Bonus: Embrace your inner tight-wad!

About Jennifer Jolly:

Jennifer is all about finding, testing and sharing just plain good ideas. From simple ways to save money, get happy and stay healthy, Jenn helps you discover one thing you can do right now to make your life better.

Jennifer has been deeply embedded in consumer and lifestyle media for the past 15-years as a broadcast journalist, TV Host, guest columnist and PR advisor. Her popular TV segments, print and blog articles cover the very things most moms (and just about everyone else) are talking about today.

For more information, visit jenniferjolly.com


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