Christmas is over for another year. How did you go? Survived with your mind intact? This wonderful time of the year creates an atmosphere that can sweep you along and before you know it, you’ve over-indulged. Over doing the eating, drinking, socialising and the spending.
Then there’s the last-minute shopping, organising the Christmas Day lunch/dinner/BBQ, family and friends and of course, not forgetting the gifts.
Phew! How did you fit it all in?
At this time of the year, habits that we’ve carefully nurtured throughout the year, go out the window. And to a certain extent, why not? It’s the time of year when we can loosen the belt a little, let go of some of those restraints and enjoy the festive season. After all, seeing the absolute delight on family and friend’s faces when they opening their presents is priceless.
Now Christmas is over for another year and those post Christmas money blues might be starting to make themselves felt. So, it’s time to establish that resolve again and get yourself back on track. So, it’s back to the exercise regime and into the healthy eating with a bit more rigour to lose those extra kilo’s. And don’t forget the finances, they will probably need a bit of adjusting as well.
Here are 7 tips that will help you get your post Christmas money blues under control.
Acknowledge that you have gone a bit overboard.
It is easy to get carried away with the emotion of Christmas and the urge to buy gifts and all the Christmas parties and those social functions. It’s okay to fall off the budget and diet wagon, the key thing is to realise you have and get back on pronto.
Work out what you’ve spent
Calculate what you have spent over and above your normal monthly spending. Go online, have a look at your bank accounts and credit cards for December. Add up your total withdrawals (including food, cash, etc) and compare this to a normal month. This will give you a good indication of how much extra you have spent. Sort the list between your fixed costs, such as mortgage, rent, power, insurance, phone, etc. and your ‘other’ or discretionary spending. You will find that it is the discretionary spend that has gone up.
Quantify the overspend.
Find out what you spent the money on. Did it come out of savings or was your credit card very active? Where it came from will determine how you go about sorting it out.
If you ‘borrowed’ the money from savings
Then increase your regular savings for the next few months and pay it back. Once you have paid it back, keep adding the extra to your savings account. Better still, open a Christmas account and by next Christmas you will have enough tucked away so you won’t find yourself with these post-Christmas money blues again.
If the spending is on a credit card and you didn’t pay the whole amount off, you’ll the interest to contend with as well. At the beginning of the year is a good time to shop around and see if any banks are offering a new credit card with 0% interest (or near zero) for a period of time. Then transfer the balance to the new card, cut up the old one and spread payments to clear the credit card debt, over the interest free period. If you can’t do this, then you are going to have to wear the extra expense of the interest and pay extra on your credit card until it is clear.
Find extra money
Another method to get on top of your Christmas debt is to find extra money over the next few months until you are back on track. So, go back to your ‘normal’ month of withdrawals and see what you can cut back on to get yourself on track again. Make sure you are realistic, just do a bit of pruning here and there, rather than slashing and burning. If you are too restrictive, it won’t work.
Start planning for next Christmas!
To ensure that those post Christmas money blues don’t show up next year, start planning. By now you will have a good idea how much you want to spend next Christmas, so, make a decision now (or as soon as you are back in the black) to transfer a fixed amount each time you get paid to a Christmas savings account. You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel this time next year!
If you have any questions around this or you would like to discover how you can change the way you think about your money, then drop us an email or click on this link to find a day and time that suits you to have a chat with us. Best of all – it’s free!