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Recovery period: Why post holiday money handling is paramount

The holidays, buying and gift giving has come and is gone (for the most part), and you begin to turn your attention to two things: all the gifts you got and just how you're going to recover from the spending spree that was your own holiday gift giving.
That list of recipients perhaps grew this year, but maybe your income didn't. So you took liberties with your spending and used credit cards or maybe even borrowed money, but you certainly realize that you're in more debt now then you were before the holidays arrived.
How exactly are you going to react now that you have to start paying back what you borrowed or charged?
Well, your reaction should be one of calmness, particularly if you did a good job of tracking what you spent money on and just how much was money that wasn't yours (i.e. credit card debt and anything that didn't come out of your bank account).
The easiest and most obvious path to crawl out of this funk is to stop using your credit cards altogether for the first three months after the holidays. Whether or not you need to go to the

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lengths of freezing the cards literally remains to be seen, but for the most part you might want to consider simply not carrying them with you so that you're less apt to use them and more inclined to spend cash that you do have rather than money you don't.
And where exactly do you tend to use your credit cards most? 
The mall or retail stores, most likely, so if shopping post Christmas is a disaster waiting to happen, simply avoid these places. That, in conjunction with not carrying your credit cards, might just be the ticket to taming your debt in the midst of the hustle and bustle that is post holiday recovery.
Just because you spent money doesn't mean it has to be the end of the world, either. You definitely splurged because you want to give gifts, make your friends and family happy, and that's human nature to follow that path during the holidays. But what is key is that you tracked your spending and have a game plan on how to pay it off. If you haven't thought that through, that means you spent without regard to understanding your budget or your income and taking into consideration your means, and living below them even during a time of year when overspending trumps all.
Where you go from here ultimately will determine not only how quick you get this debt paid off but if all the spending truly was worth it.

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