How to Get Your Finances in Order After the Holidays
With the holidays officially behind us, it’s time to pull down those Christmas lights and pull up your bank statements. I know, finances are a tricky subject for a lot of us, but if a strong financial future is part of your 2020 goals, it’s time to face the challenge head-on.
An average American spends almost $1000 during the holidays. Now, I don’t know about you, but that can be a big hit to a budget like mine. If you’re ready to handle your money post-holiday season, you’re in the right place. Here’s how you can get your finances in order after the holidays.
Audit your spending
You can’t make strides forward if you refuse to look back at what you’ve done in the past. Taking a detailed audit of your holiday spending is essentials to fixing your finances after the holidays. If you use one single debit or credit card for all your transactions, then simply check your online account to review all your spending. This will give you a clear idea of where all your money went this last month.
Make a budget
If you’ve been trying to get your finances in order without a budget in the past, it’s time to change your game plan. Budgets are essential to determine where your money goes from month to month. It gives you an overview of your income and your expenses. If you’re in a relationship, I would highly recommend frequent money dates. During this time, you and your partner can review your spending over the last week, month, or year.
Stick to the essentials
One of the main reasons why American’s struggle financially and usually find themselves living paycheck to paycheck is because we’re overspending. That’s right. The simple fact that we can’t live below our means is costing us our sanity. Try to only spend money on the essentials during the first few months of the year. Trust me, you’ll see a big difference in your bank account in no time.
Start paying off debt
Debt is one of those things that we’d love to ignore until it’s no longer there. Unfortunately, debt collectors will continue to call, send letters, and harass you until you pay off the last penny. Make a plan to start paying off your holiday debt as soon as possible. You wouldn’t want your purchases from the last year haunting you into your future.
Return or sell unwanted gifts
It’s inevitable. No matter how specific our Christmas wish list is, or how well the person knows you, we always end up with gifts we don’t like and would probably never use. Not only is it wasteful and bad for the planet, but that unwanted and unused item will also only take up valuable space in your home.
Apps like Mercari and Poshmark make it easy to sell your unwanted items online. You can use your earnings to help you pay off any debt you accumulated during the holidays.