Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash
Many people struggle to repair their finances after splurging on the holiday season. While seeing the extent of the damage can be a rude awakening, it’s not the end of the world. You can recover from a financial setback quicker than you think. All you have to do is set a plan in place and stick to it.
- Set your budget
Many people are scared to look at the numbers this time of year, so they leave budgeting for their future self to deal with. Big mistake. You need to show your money who’s boss and take back the financial reins with a well thought out budget at the beginning of the year.
When planning your budget, use your mistakes to your advantage by looking at your last three bank statements. That’ll give you a good indication of where you went wrong and what behaviors to avoid moving forward. Consider payday loan alternatives to help you pay off the most pressing debts.
- Shop smart
If you’re accustomed to daily food shopping, try and limit this activity to once per week instead. Switching to online shopping can save you time and money as you’re not distracted by all the items on display in the aisles. Online shopping apps also make it easier to stick to your list each month.
Make full use of what’s in your pantry and refrigerator to avoid going to the grocery store. Use what you have on hand, including groceries, personal products, and cleaning stuff before you buy anything new.
This is a good time to get rid of the excess that tends to build up over the course of the year.
Buy store-brand items instead of brand-name objects, and be on the lookout for daily specials because every store has them.
- Do a “No-spend January”
Instead of jumping on the latest health fad, go on a “no-spend January” diet instead. This financial health kick involves only spending on bills and the few essentials you’ve budgeted for. No extras, no splurging.
They say it only takes 30 days to establish a new habit, so this can be a great way to get your mind used to spending less. It will also help you establish a healthy attitude to spending that you can maintain for the rest of the year.
You might enjoy your new lifestyle so much that you end up challenging yourself to a no-spend year. The goal is to cut out stuff that isn’t necessary and stick to the basics. This means no coffee runs, shopping sprees, or drive-thru meals.
- Look for better deals
If your current bills are weighing you down, maybe it’s time to shop around for better offers. This includes your car insurance, home insurance, cable, and internet contracts.
Speak to your local providers and let them know you want to cut back and need a better package that’ll meet your needs. With a bit of research and haggling, you can save hundreds of dollars in monthly expenses.
- Track your spending
It’s important to track every cent that comes out of your pocket, so you know where your money is going. The good news is, it’s never been easier to track your spending thanks to budgeting apps that are designed to help you stay on track.
Dealing with a financial hangover after the holiday season? Don’t stress. There are plenty of different options at your disposal to help you get back on your feet. With a bit of discipline.