The holidays have come and gone. Unfortunately, so has a big chunk of money. I’m not typically a big spender and each year I promise myself I won’t go over my spending budget. However, with three kids, family and friends, that was one promise I didn’t keep.
Between the food, parties, trips and gifts, most of us are left with some post-holiday spending remorse. Below are some tips I find helpful.
It’s easy to get in the habit of spending so the first step is to STOP. Even after January 1st many find themselves spending money on pointless things due to the habit they’ve created the month or two prior.
Review Your Budget
As terrifying as it may seem, it’s important to muster up the courage and assess the damage. You’ll want to review your overall budget and account for all your debts, payment amounts and due dates as well as any interest that may be charged. It’s best to avoid withdrawing money that is actually WORKING for you, so see what expenses you can cut in order to recoup financially …. even if it’s temporary.
Put Holiday Gift Cards to Use
This is one that we tend not to think about. Make sure the gift cards you received don’t end up at the bottom of some forgotten junk drawer. I received a gift card to a restaurant and was able to use that to celebrate my daughter’s good grades (a promise I DID keep). I was happy I remembered the gift card and saved myself the $50.
Prepare for Next Year
Once you’ve recuperated from this past holiday season, make it a goal to prepare for next year in advance. Review your budget periodically throughout the year and be mindful of your spending.
Holiday spending can throw a curve ball into your finances. Reviewing and modifying your budget and spending in advance will help mitigate potential remorse in the future. For assistance with keeping yourself (or getting back) on track to pursue your financial goals for now, your future, as well as into retirement, give us a call to schedule a meeting with an advisor. A comprehensive financial plan may just be what you need to keep the motivation throughout 2018.