Overdid it with your holiday spending? Here are 7 cures for your debt hangover

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Has the holiday season left you terrified about logging in to peek at your credit card account and thinking about drastically cutting back on spending? It’s common to start a new year feeling debt’s bite. But there’s no need to abstain from fun altogether.

If December’s charges have turned into January 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.

To put your plastic on hiatus, write down your projected expenses in a notebook or on 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 7 ways to spend smarter. You’ll reduce expenses without denying yourself much or racking up new account balances.