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For most Florida residents the holiday festivities are complete. People are putting decorations away and taking stock of the holiday. For some, that means getting their first look at credit card statements that reflect gifts charged. According to American Research Group, most Americans spent an average of $646 on others this year. The amount that actually went on credit cards varies.

Because credit card debt can be one of a multitude of reasons for filing for bankruptcy, if possible it is a good idea to pay off holiday charges quickly. There are of course many ways to go about doing this. In this post we will discuss a few of them.

The first step is a fairly obvious one. Tally the debt accumulated during the holidays. In addition to gifts purchased, it is important to include charges for entertaining and holiday decorations as well. Knowing how much needs to be paid off is the first step to actually paying it off.

The next step is to construct a plan of paying off the debt identified as holiday related. Determine how much needs to be paid each month to pay it off in the period of time desired. To be able to pay more than the new minimum balance on the credit card, it may be necessary to spend less in other areas such as entertainment for a while.

There are several other ways that the debt can be paid down. Some people get an additional part time job on weekends and put all earnings from that position toward outstanding credit card bills. Other people sell items on online auction sites such as eBay and use the proceeds to pay the bill. Still others used bonuses or tax returns.

Whatever the approach, it is important to take charge of one’s financial health. While this sometimes means finding a way to pay off outstanding debt, in other cases bankruptcy is the best option. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide viable options based on your specific circumstances.

Source: U.S.News & World Report, “6 Ways to Destroy Holiday Debt,” Sabah Karimi, Dec. 19, 2011