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Broke After The Holidays?

Stephanie Lanik

Strategic Marketing Coordinator

Stephanie Lanik

Strategic Marketing Coordinator

Get your budget back on track with these 5 simple steps.

‘Tis the season to overspend. Between the expensive gifts, festive light-up sweaters and the other ways in which the season tends to lift money from our back pockets, it’s likely you went a little over budget during the holidays. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to panic.

So, instead of letting yourself suffer from your “post-holiday financial hangover,” take charge and start getting your finances in shape for the New Year! Here are five ways you can get your budget back on track after a hectic holiday season:

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Find Out Where Your Money Went

Ostensibly, when the holidays roll around, you spend your money on gifts. But that’s just one outlet for the season’s contagious generosity. Maybe you ate out more than normal to see friends and family who are in town; maybe bought a few more rounds of drinks or, upon seeing a deal too good to pass up, bought something for yourself. Regardless of how the money was spent, now’s the time to figure out where it went. Gifts, dinners, drinks, and whatever else popped up as an extra expense. Use this information to craft a budget for next year, and try to sock away a little bit of money every month coming up to December to lessen the impact.

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Check Your Credit Cards

According to a recent report, almost 80% of Americans are financing the extra holiday spending through credit cards. If you’re one of these people, make a plan to pay off the cards ASAP. Accruing interest fees can turn a few $20 gifts into a much bigger sum of money over time. If the sums of money are too big to pay off quickly, look into transferring the balance to a zero percent interest card, or maybe even a short-term loan with low interest rates.

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Shop Smarter

If you’re broke at the end of the holiday season, chances are you might be a bit of an impulse buyer. Start becoming a smarter shopper by using modern convenience to shop online more. Use Amazon Subscribe & Save or other subscription services to stop you from buying things in store you don’t need. Take advantage of delivery grocery services as well; the fee you pay for delivery or pick-up will probably be less than what you spend on impulse buys while walking the aisles.

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Stop Overspending

Financial guru Dave Ramsey said, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” This doesn’t apply to everyone, but it does appeal to the emotional and psychological reasons for why we overspend. Next time you feel the urge to buy something a little extravagant, or just something you don’t need, stop and take a moment to answer a few questions. Ask yourself why you’re drawn to this thing, and why do you need to buy it? You might find out that you’re acting from a habit that can be disrupted, that you get an emotional high from spending money, or maybe you just forgot that you already have the same thing or something similar.

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Start Saving

And not just for the next year’s holidays either. Nearly everyone will encounter a crisis at some point that requires big money…replacing a furnace in winter, buying a new car, or another big financial expense could come up at any moment. Not having even a small financial safety net could be devastating. There are plenty of different methods out there for those who need to develop a mindset to start saving, including auto deposits, untouchable accounts, and more.

Start Turning Things Around!

Being broke is no fun, and suffering from a holiday spending hangover happens to the best of us. So, rather than looking back on this past holiday season in dismay and kicking yourself for overspending; stay positive and stick to these get-out-of-debt tactics — you’ll soon be well on your way to financial wellness all year round.

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