Christmas Credit Card Debt – How to Pay it Off Quick?

Christmas season is done and many have to face a grim financial reality – debt! An average American incurs more than $1k debt after Christma. If this is you, then you need to read my Wealth-Tip on How to Pay Off Your Christmas Credit Card Debt Quick

A survey that was done by says, “Americans Racked up $1325 in Holiday Debt in 2019”. Sadly, the majority of the respondent admits that it will take them more than one month to pay off their Christmas debt.

Christmas Debt Facts

44% of consumers took on debt this holiday season

78% of those with holiday debt won’t be able to pay it off come January

58% of indebted consumers are stressed about their holiday debt

70% of those with holiday debt owe money on their credit card

40% plan to consolidate debt and/or shop arround for a good balance transfer interest rate

Magnify Money

Affiliate Disclosure – I am an Affiliate of many products promoted on this website and may earn a commission if you purchase something.

4 Simple Steps You Need to Do to Pay Off Your Christmas Credit Card Debt in Less than 3 Months

Step 1: Assess the Damage

The first step in solving ANY problem is knowing what the problem is. This is is also true when you want to pay off your credit card debt quick. You need to know how much you owe so you can formulate a plan on how to pay it.

I can’t back this with some smart “research” studies, but, based on personal experience, my spending habits changes when I am aware that I am in debt. I naturally cut on my discretionary spending if I know I am in the red. This is why I believe knowing how much your credit card debt is important.

Step 2: Create a SMART Goal


The next good step to take after determining the problem is to create a goal. To increase your success, it would be best if you will create a SMART goal.

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely. In other words, to create a SMART goal, you need to make it specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.

Defining S.M.A.R.T Goals

Specific – Goals should accurately describe what you want to accomplish in a given period and after performing a specific action. To help you come up with a specific goal, simply ask the five W: what, why, who, where and which.

Measurable – Goals should be quantitative. In other words, there should be a way to measure progress. Measurable goals should be able to answer how much or how many and it should be able to tell you how much you have accomplished.

Achievable – Goals should be realistic and attainable. It shouldn’t be easy because you will take it for granted thus not completing it. It shouldn’t be impossible to do either because it will force you to quit. Make it challenging but doable. Set goal that makes you step out of your comfort zone.

Relevant – Goals should affect you and it should contribute to your overall life goal. Making goal personal means it would help you take ownership. Taking ownership would improve your success rate because it will help you persevere when things get hard.

Time-bound – Goals should have deadlines. Deadlines are important because it will force you to take action to accomplish goals before the time expires. In addition, placing a deadline would help combat procrastination. Finally, time allocation to accomplish a goal means you can keep the momentum, the key to achieving a goal, going

Example of a S.M.A.R.T. goal

“To pay off my $1325 Christmas credit debt on April 30 by creating a budget and cut on my top 3 discretionary expenses”

Specific: In the SMART goal example above, it is specifically said what needs to be accomplished (paying off the $1325 debt), which debt needs to be paid (Christmas credit card debt), when the debt is going to be paid off (April 30), and how it is going to be paid (create a budget and cut on the top 3 discretionary expenses).

Measurable: The given goal is measurable because it states how much Christmas credit card debt, $1325, must be paid off. That said, you can measure the progress of this goal by checking if the amount of $441 per month or $220 per bi-weekly paycheque is being paid. If not, then it is a sign that the goal is not being met.

Attainable: In the example above, paying $441 a month or $220 bi-weekly might be easy to some, challenging to few or impossible to many. The key here is not the numbers, rather how realistic and how challenging it would be.

If you learned that paying $441 a month is impossible to be done even after cutting every discretionary spending you have, then feel free to lower the target amount. Likewise, if you found out that you have extra money left after paying all your essential expenses, then I urge you to increase your monthly payment.

Relevant: You’ve read this far so I am assuming that paying off a Christmas credit card debt is something relevant to you. If not, then make sure to modify the goal so it would be something that benefits you. For example, you could say,

“To pay off my $1325 Christmas credit debt on April 30 by creating a budget and cut on my top 3 discretionary expenses so I can improve my relationship with my spouse”


“To pay off my $1325 Christmas credit debt on April 30 by creating a budget and cut on my top 3 discretionary expenses so I can get qualified for a mortgage”

Timely: In our example, 3 months is the time we are giving to ourselves to finish it! The deadline can be extended or shortened for a couple of months if needed to make the goal attainable. It is important to set the deadline way before December to give you time to save for the next Christmas season and to make sure the debt will not pile up.

Post Your SMART Goal

After you made a SMART goal for yourself, be sure to post it somewhere you can see often. I would even suggest to post it where you will see it first thing in the morning, so you will be reminded by your goal at the beginning and throughout the day.

Step 3: Create a Budget


Creating a SMART goal without executing it is like finding the perfect partner but would not take it to the next level because you don’t want the responsibility.

Once you set up your Christmas-credit-card-debt-related-SMART goal, then you must commit and there is no other way to do this but to create and follow a budget.

A step-by-step guide on how to create a budget will not be thoroughly discussed here because it is another big topic to discuss. However, please consider reading my How to Budget and Save Money if you need help with creating a budget.

For now, let me give you a quick guide on how you can create a budget.

  1. Know how much you make each month (after taxes)
  2. List down all of your expenses
  3. Categorize your expenses into essential or discretionary expense
  4. Subtract “Total Expense” from “Total Income”
  5. Allocate money to Christmas credit card debt if you have extra money
  6. Review and eliminate some or all discretionary expenses if money is not enough
    • Consider doing overtime or temporarily take extra jobs to increase income

Step 4: Automate Your Payment

The last step you can do to pay off your Christmas credit card quick is to automate your payment. Automating your payment would be beneficial because a portion of your income will automatically be deducted and your debt will be paid without you even noticing it. This means you will not have a chance to think twice whether you will use your income to buy more things vs. pay off your debt; it will automatically go to your debt.

In order to do this step, you would need to log in to your online banking and set up the automatic transfer from your checking account to your credit card account. Make sure to transfer an amount a day after your payday. Of course, the amount will be equal to what you determined in your SMART goal.

If you do not have an online bank, then go to your bank branch and request a teller to set up an automatic from your checking account to your credit card account on a specified day. Again, the day should be a day after your payday and the amount should be equal to your SMART goal.

Bonus: Side Hustle Opportunities

If you did step 1 to 4 but it is still not enough to pay off your debt on time, then my advice is for you to make more money. There are lots of side hustles you can do nowadays, and it’s never been easy to start one because of the internet.

One of the most popular ways to make money online is through blogging.

Bloggers can monetize their blogs in different ways. The most common is through affiliate marketing or through Adsense.

If you don’t know how to blog but determined to make extra money, then I suggest that you subscribe to Wealthy Affiliate.

Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one blogging solution that will help you set up your blog, educate you on how affiliate marketing works, and provide you a like-minded community. What this means for you is by subscribing to Wealthy Affiliate, you increase your chances to become successful in blogging.

But Wait There is More!

Wealthy Affiliate is normally $49 a month on a monthly subscription but it goes down to $29 a month on a yearly subscription.

If you try Wealthy Affiliate today, you will get a big discount on your first month. Instead of paying $29, you will only pay $19. I think it is a pretty good deal considering how much you can get from Wealthy Affiliate.

Have Questions About Wealthy Affiliate

If you are not sure about Wealthy Affiliate, that is okay. I am here to answer your questions. I’ve written a couple of articles about Wealthy Affiliate that I hope would answer your questions.

What about you?

Hey Wealth Builders! I want to hear from you about what you think about this article! What is the best part? Is there something that you do not agree with? Do you have tips to share?

Let me hear from you!  Feel free to write in the comment section!

Did you like what you read today? Please consider leaving your e-mail.

Join the WealthBuilderTips Community!



10 thoughts on “Christmas Credit Card Debt – How to Pay it Off Quick?”

  1. Thank you for the excellent tips in your article,

    There is some real sound advice in there and the overriding message is that it is vital to know the extent of your debt before devising a strategy to pay everything off. The SMART philosophy is a great approach to take and allows you the opportunity to break it down into manageable chunks. 

    One question I would have though is whether you should look to spend all of your spare income on your debt or whether you should still allow yourself a certain amount of money to spend on savings and investments alongside paying a good proportion of your debts off each month.

    • Hi,

      I personally believe that we should tackle our debts first before saving up or investing. 

      One good reason is, especially as of Dec 2018, investing is going down. (Of course, it will go up again). In this situation, we will be losing money from our credit card interest rate plus our investment is actually going down! 

      Say, stocks are on the uptrend and money can be made if money is invested in the stock market. The 10-year annual average return of the stock market is about 8%. Compare that to the average credit card APR of 16%. We will be loosing about 8% if we try to prolong our debt. 


      John Greg

  2. Great post, John!

    It’s so crazy to see the survey of debt for each year, and the fact that it keeps increasing. I was happy to see that some tips on saving and cutting back that you recommended, I had actually started to implement. It’s never a good feeling going into the new year, having to play “catch up” on finances. Thank you for the informative post! I hope everyone that reads this also puts these tips into action!

    Happy New Year, 


    • Hi Matt, 

      Happy to help! I hope that you will be able to pay off every Christmas credit card debt you have if you have any. 


      John Greg

  3. Your Step 2 is absolutely correct and important: “Step 2: Create a Goal and Remind Ourselves of our Goal.” And, as you said, make the goal SMART. Going about it this way, I’ve found, makes everyone involved in setting the goal invested in the goal. It helps to make everyone accountable to the goal and to those who care about it being realized–even if that means only one person has an interest in it, as specific / measurable / attainable / realistic / timely pertains to any objective, whether it’s shared by one or many.

    Thanks for the post. I found it informative and inspiring.

    • Hi Kevin, 

      This is correct. Our chances of succeeding becomes better when we make our goal SMART. 


      John Greg

  4. Thank you for sharing with us this helpful post on how to pay off quickly christmas credit card debt.To be frank,I have used much money in buying christmas gifts to my family members and I was checking my finances and found that I have a big debt and need to know how to manage it.

    I got idea on how pay it off due to your advice and I am thankful to you.

    Happy new year.

    • Hi, 

      I’m glad that my tips are helpful. 

      No worries about giving gifts! I honestly admire that. Now that Christmas is over, I hope that we should really be proactive and aggressive in paying off our debt. 


      John Greg 

  5. Hey there. I really appreciate your article. I am a big spender, especially when there are holidays nearby. This is where my credit card usually go on yearly low. After holidays it is hard to get back in saving mode. That is why i found your tips very valuable and helpful.

    I think the biggest thing with me at least is cutting down expenses, and making sure that you pay even more money then required minimum. This will ensure you are very careful about your next use. 

    Giving big money to cut down debth is something requiring really big self discipline.

    Happy holidays.


    • Hi,

      I’m glad that you liked these articles. To be honest, I believe it is okay to spend and sometimes put it in our credit card, but like what you have shared, we should be responsible for paying it off ASAP. 
      I hope that you will be able to follow through your plans! 

      If you need help, just let me know. I will be happy to help. 


      John Greg


Leave a Comment