JAN. 10, 2017:
Picture this: you have finished all your holiday shopping, and have just enough time to pop into your favorite store. They have the shoes you’ve been wanting all season long, on sale, and just in your size. Add to that a new sparkly top for New Year’s, a cute pair of earrings to match and you’re all set. What’s this? Your friend texts you to say she got last minute reservations at the hottest restaurant in town? You’ll meet her there in an hour, but not before getting your nails done for the holiday festivities.
Sound familiar? Us too. We have all been guilty of overspending during the holiday season. Blame it on all the time off or the post-holiday sales—either way, overspending during the holidays puts us in a sticky situation come January 1st. Thankfully, there is damage control. Read on for ways to get over a holiday spending binge.
Do not deny the damage
That sinking feeling you get when you logon to online banking won’t go away over time. Don’t let that debt sit—get a handle on it. Go through all your accounts and make a list of where you overspent. If you want to get super diligent about it, make a spreadsheet of your debt, organized by account. Scared of Excel? Not to worry. A good ole pad and pen does the job too.
Make a plan
You may be itching to pay off your debt by dipping into your savings, but we’d advise against it. You could also plan to stay at home and eat Ramen noodles and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a solid month, but that is not realistic either. Find a healthy, realistic solution by using a combination of cutting spending, making more money and taking a small portion from your savings, i.e. less than 5%.
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Get some short term gigs
There are so many ways to up your spending in the short term. If you work an hourly job, boost your hours. Or, think about picking up a few jobs on the weekends, like babysitting, dog sitting or driving Uber or Lyft. Another great way to make some extra cash? Clean out your closet and sell your clothes online.
Curb your spending
As mentioned before, we don’t expect you to be a hermit at home until you pay off your debt, but it is essential that you curb your spending. Instead of going out for drinks with friends, have them over to split a bottle of wine. Instead of brunch, meet for a coffee. Instead of going shopping, why not head out on a hike. Bring your lunch to work and/or take a month off of your normal fitness classes and stick to jogging instead.
Learn from your mistakes
Are you living outside of your means? With the pressures of social media, it can feel hard not to want to keep up with the Joneses. Keep up on your finances to make sure that your holiday spending hangover was just a one-time thing and not part of a bigger cycle.
What are your tips to financial recovery after the holidays? Share in the comments!
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