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Life Lessons: Managing holiday debt

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 20 2014 04:00:00 AM CST

Now that the holidays are over, many of us are dreading the arrival of those credit card bills.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Now that the holidays are over, many of us are dreading the arrival of those credit card bills.

Holiday debt can impact even the most frugal among us as the temptation to overspend just seems to be part of the holiday season.

Now that those bills are coming in, what can you do to make sure you don't have a bad financial hangover?

Kevin Brosious, president of Wealth Management, a financial planning and money management firm in Allentown, says you'll need to take action.

"When you get the bills, you have to set a budget to pay these things down. You lived above your means basically when you accumulated debt. Now you have to live below you means to to pay it off," Brosious saiys.

Brosious reminds us that we may have to make some sacrifices.

Here's his advice:
*Assess your debt
*Develop a budget
*Make a plan
*Pay off those credit cards as fast as possible.

"I tell clients to think of it though as a return on your investment so if you have a 15 percent credit card bill and you're paying that down..you're actually guaranteeing yourself a 15 percent return on your money."

So attack those credit cards and then he says get rid of them. Keep only one.

"Try to pay the highest interest rate cards off first and once they're paid off especially those high interest cards which are usually the store cards, cut them up."

Next, he says start saving.

"We have to talk about budgeting when we do this and you're able to save just $2 a day --that's $60.00 a month you can apply toward your credit card."

If you're really in trouble with debt, he says get help from a non-profit like The National Foundation for Credit Counseling and be careful of transfer credit cards.

"A lot of people don't pay the balances off in time and a lot of those cards carry an even higher balance than they transferred from."

Experts say you may want to start thinking ahead and come up with a plan and a budget before the next holiday season hits us.