Post-holiday debt blues
If the holiday season left you with a pages-long credit card bill, you're probably feeling debt's bite. But there's no need to abstain from fun altogether.
If December's plastic charges have turned into lengthy paper bills, put away the credit cards and turn to cash, suggests Jen Dotson, who blogs at "Thrifty Northwest Mom," a site focused on frugal deals.
In January, write down your projected expenses in a notebook or in a categorized spreadsheet and set aside cash for each category. "We have been using a cash system for the last year and it has helped us to become debt-free," Dotson says.
And while you're paying down post-holiday debt, try these seven ways to spend smarter. You'll reduce expenses without denying yourself or racking up new account balances.