SOUTH BEND After a holiday season full of spending, the bills are starting to roll in, and that can be a stressful situation.
Newscenter 16 spoke to a local financial educator about what families can do to manage their money.
"Number one, you need to figure out how much money you can put towards these bills right now," said Linda Curley, an HHS educator at Purdue Extension.
Curley suggests focusing on the smallest bill first, while still making all of the other minimum payments.
"You're going to tackle these one at a time in order to just alleviate having to pay this huge chunk of change every month," said Curley. "You're going to put as much as you possibly can toward that lowest amount. Once the lowest amount is paid, that one is gone."
Another piece of advice- return unrealistic holiday purchases and use all incoming gifts toward the bills. Curley says things like tax returns can be useful.
Above all, Curley says the key point to keep in mind when tackling debt, don't create more bills for yourself.
"Do not put more debt on a credit card, now, if you're trying to pay off debt from Christmastime. Really be very careful about what you're using your credit cards for right now," said Curley.