How Can I Get Back on Track After Holiday Overspending?


Q: "I overspent over the holidays, and racked up some credit card debt. How can I get back on track quickly?"

A lot of people feel your pain right now. In fact, a December MagnifyMoney survey found that people nursing a holiday spending hangover are starting 2018 with $1,054 worth of new debt.

The first thing to do is to stop using your card, so your balance doesn’t continue growing while you pay it down. Then review your budget to determine how much cash you can put toward your debt each month.

If you’re paying off multiple cards, consider doubling down on the one with the lowest balance (while paying the minimums on the rest), which can quickly reduce how many cards you’re juggling. This is called the Snowball Method, and offers a nice motivational boost each time you finish paying off another card.

If you have good credit and a solid payment plan, you can also consider two other options:

1. Balance transfer to 0-percent interest credit card. Many companies offer interest-free credit cards for 12, 15 or even 21 months as a way to attract new account holders. Divide your debt by the number of months in the promotional period. If you can handle those payments, this can save you some cash. Just make sure to factor in any balance-transfer fee and keep in mind that the interest rate will likely spike after the promotional period expires.

2. Personal loan. If your balance is higher than you can realistically pay off with a balance-transfer card, look into consolidating and refinancing your debt with a personal loan instead. You can often find personal loans for less than 10-percent interest.

Grow Financial Advisor Panel participants are responsible for the content expressed and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Acorns Grow, Inc., Acorns Securities, LLC or Acorns Advisers, LLC. Content is provided on an informational basis and should not be construed as investment advice. Individual circumstances will vary. Please consult a financial advisor before acting on any opinions expressed. Participation in the panel is voluntary. Editing of advisor responses is for brevity and clarity; no editorial privilege is exercised.

acorns+cnbcacorns cnbc

Join Acorns


About Us

Learn More

Follow Us

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. The contents presented herein are provided for general investment education and informational purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any specific securities or engage in any particular investment strategy. Acorns is not engaged in rendering any tax, legal, or accounting advice. Please consult with a qualified professional for this type of advice.

Any references to past performance, regarding financial markets or otherwise, do not indicate or guarantee future results. Forward-looking statements, including without limitations investment outcomes and projections, are hypothetical and educational in nature. The results of any hypothetical projections can and may differ from actual investment results had the strategies been deployed in actual securities accounts. It is not possible to invest directly in an index.

Advisory services offered by Acorns Advisers, LLC (“Acorns Advisers”), an investment adviser registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Brokerage and custody services are provided to clients of Acorns Advisers by Acorns Securities, LLC (“Acorns Securities”), a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”). Acorns Pay, LLC (“Acorns Pay”) manages Acorns’s demand deposit and other banking products in partnership with Lincoln Savings Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of Iowa and member FDIC. Acorns Advisers, Acorns Securities, and Acorns Pay are subsidiaries of Acorns Grow Incorporated (collectively “Acorns”). “Acorns,” the Acorns logo and “Invest the Change” are registered trademarks of Acorns Grow Incorporated. Copyright © 2019 Acorns and/or its affiliates.

NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in Acorns Grow Incorporated.