Post-holiday budget planning is the process of getting your finances back on track after the holiday season. This can be a challenge, especially if you overspent. But, by taking some simple steps, you can get back on the right track and avoid financial stress in the new year. It can take some time to recover financially after the holidays, but consistency can make a huge difference over time. Be patient with the process and regroup for next year!
Additionally, reading this BEFORE the New Year of 2024 rings in can also be super helpful for this year’s holiday season.
Here are some tips for post-holiday budgeting:
Review your spending. The first step is to take a look at your spending and see where your money went during the holidays. This will help you identify areas where you can cut back in the future. You can use a spreadsheet or budgeting app to track your spending.
Pay down debt. If you overspent during the holidays, you may have some credit card debt to pay off. Make a plan to pay down this debt as quickly as possible to avoid high interest charges. Pay more than the minimum payments required, if at all possible. If possible, consider using all or part of any tax returns to pay down this debt.
Revise your budget. Once you have a good understanding of your spending and debt, it’s time to revise your budget. This may involve cutting back on unnecessary expenses or increasing your income, even if on a temporary basis. You may be back on track after a few months!
Set financial goals. Having financial goals will help you stay motivated. Some common financial goals include saving for a down payment on a house, retirement, or a child’s education. Really be specific with your financial goals to help them materialize. Write out those goals and look at them frequently.
Create a holiday spending plan for next year. Start thinking about your holiday spending for next year now. This will help you avoid overspending again.
Shop around for the best deals throughout the year. Compare prices at different stores and online before you buy anything. Consider dollar, thrift, and discount/liquidation stores.
Take advantage of sales and coupons. There are always sales, coupons and promo codes available, so be sure to check for them before you buy anything.
Take advantage of post-holiday sales. Many retailers offer discounts on leftover holiday merchandise after the holidays. This is a great time to stock up on items you need or want at a reduced price. Be sure to store them in a place you’ll remember!
Return unwanted gifts. If you received gifts that you don’t want or need, return them for a refund or exchange. This will help you get some your money back and/or buy things you actually need.
Regift items. You can regift items that you do not want or need. Keeping inventory of what gift you received from what person can help this be a successful plan from year to year.
Sell unwanted gifts or belongings. If you have unwanted gifts or belongings that you can’t return, consider selling them online or at a garage sale. This is a great way to declutter your home and make some extra money.
Cancel unused subscriptions. Take some time to review your subscriptions and cancel any that you’re no longer using. Be honest with yourself about what you are likely to use in the future. This could include magazine subscriptions, streaming services, and gym memberships.
Here are some additional tips:
Automate your finances. Set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account each month. This will help you reach your financial goals without even having to think about it. Start with a small amount, if needed, and increase it as is feasible for you.
Use cash instead of credit cards. When you use cash, you’re much more likely to be mindful of your spending. People tend to spend less when using cash.
Review your insurance policies. At the beginning of each year, make sure you’re getting the best possible rates on your insurance policies. You may be able to save money by bundling your policies or shopping around for new providers.
Getting back on track financially after the holidays can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many resources available to help you, and with a little effort, you can get back on track!
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Would you like to meet one-on-one with one of our Financial Counselors to talk specifically about your budget? Check out our Financial Coaching Session https://parachutecreditcounseling.org/services/credit-budget-counseling/#financial-coaching or call 716-712-2060.