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Dealing With A Holiday Debt Hangover

It seems like the holidays not only drain our energy and time, but also the money out of our pockets, wallets and bank accounts! It’s great to be around family and friends, and to exchange gifts with loved ones, but the pressures of spending and going all-out year after year takes a toll on our budgets. The never-ending shopping sprees are fun in the moment, but by the time the new year rolls around, your lack of funds explodes in your face and may leave you wondering why you went overboard yet again this year.

Here are five tips that will help you get organized with a new and improved budget, and gain back the funds you may have lost during the hectic holiday season.

1. Set priorities

There are things that need to be purchased on a regular basis each day, week, month and even year. However, some of the ‘essentials’ may not be as essential once you make a list of what needs to be prioritized. Make a list of what needs to get done, and what you need to buy in order to get those things done. Make sure the important list items are crossed off before moving on to less significant items on your list.  

2. Learn to resist

This one may seem obvious, but it is effective, and a lot of people find saying ‘no’ is quite difficult. Having willpower is important in the long run, when you have to face the prospects of skipping out on big purchases. Learning to say ‘no’ to yourself, your kids or your spouse will help the whole family stay on track when tempted to overspend.

3. Create a savings account

Putting away money into a different account can serve as a great emergency fund or a place to grab some money when you think you’re going to go off budget again. Instead of pooling all your money in one account, separating your cash will likely help you build up willpower and learn how to save money and not spend it. This way, any extra money over your budget will not be spent but kept away for when you really need it.

4. Plan monthly budgets

Monthly budgets are probably the easiest to get through; they aren’t too much of a long term plan, but they’ll help you save money one step at a time, without making you feel too overwhelmed with the process. Monthly budgets can include the amount of money you plan on spending on groceries, clothing and affordable luxuries.

5. Start your holiday buying now!

Notice how stores seem to have over-the-top, incredible sales after the holidays are over? If only those deals were on during all those last minute shopping trips, perhaps budgeting wouldn’t even be a problem! Retailers get rid of lots of holiday décor and decorations by the new year, so saving money on these reduced festive items rather than buying them at full price could save you a small fortune.

Post-holiday debt can be a real drag, but smart planning and savvy shopping will help you kick off 2017 the right way.