How to Deal with a Holiday Hangover

Hangover. It’s such a descriptive word for the harsh reality one faces in the morning as a result of overindulging the night before.

If you went a little nuts with the credit cards over the recent holidays, you may know a thing or two about a different kind of hangover — debt hangover. So let’s figure out how to get rid of your holiday hangover.

FACE THE FACTS. Stop beating yourself up for having overspent. Set your emotions to the side, and deal with just the facts. How much money are we talking about here? $800? $1,200? More? Whatever it is, face it head-on.

MAKE A PLAN. Rather that separating your holiday debt from previous debt, let’s focus on getting rid of it all. My Rapid Debt-Repayment Plan will get you completely free from all non-mortgage debt, and if you buckle down and get serious, you could wipe out a huge chunk of it in the next 12 months.

STOP USING. If you cannot pay your balance in full each month, you need to stop using the plastic. No more. Finished. Buh-bye. Cut up all but one of your cards so you cannot use them, then put that last card in a very safe place away from your wallet.

FIX YOUR PAYMENTS. Whatever your current minimum monthly payment is on each of your credit-card debts, determine to pay that same amount every month, regardless of the lower amount your statement may suggest you pay.

LINE ‘EM UP. Make a chart that lists your debts in order by outstanding balance, with the smallest at the top.

SPEED IT UP. When you pay off the first debt (it will happen if you are not adding new purchases), take its payment and add it to the fixed payment of the second debt. When it is paid, take the payments from the first and second debt and add them to the fixed payment of the third. Think of rolling a snowball down a hill. That’s how this works. You will be astonished at how quickly you can get debt-free.

GET HELP. I won’t try to mislead you to think that getting out of debt is simple. If that were the case, no one would be in debt. It takes a desire, commitment and willingness to make temporary sacrifices to improve your life.

To help, I have a special deal for my Everyday Cheapskate readers. Become an online member of, and you’ll have complete access to the Rapid Debt-Repayment Plan Calculator, plus all the other financial tools and community forums on our site. Go to our bookstore, and put a one-year membership in your cart. Enter coupon code RDRP, and you’ll pay only $15.

Having the support of people who know what you’re going through — because they’ve been there themselves — can make all the difference in the world to your success. And that’s what you get when you are part of the DPL family.

This time next year, you’ll be so glad you did.

Mary Hunt is the founder of and author of 23 books, including her January 2013 release, “Cheaper, Better, Faster: Over 2,000 Tips and Tricks to Save You Time and Money Every Day.” You can email her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. To find out more about Mary Hunt and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at