You went a little overboard with the holiday spending. You don’t necessarily regret the gifts you bought or the experiences you had, but you certainly regret what these things did to your bank account.
You’re not alone in this. Americans have long held onto the tradition of overspending during the holidays. Most people spend over $1000 on holiday gifts and extras at this time of year — even when their income isn’t particularly high. It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed with the festivities and shop without thinking about the debt that will follow in the New Year.
If you’re in a panic about your holiday spending, see how you can help your finances recover.
What Can You Do to Recover from This?
Start a Budget
If you have been living without a monthly budget, now is the perfect moment to get started on one. How do you get started? Fill out a spreadsheet and calculate your total income for the month. Then, write down estimates for your monthly expenses, like rent/mortgage payments, insurance, utilities and groceries. See how much you have leftover — this is your savings.
You can make a simple budget using spreadsheet software. Or you can download an app like YNAB, Goodbudget or Mint on your smartphone and follow the instructions.
Make a Repayment Plan
Start by figuring how much debt you have to pay off. Then, see what savings you can safely pull out of your budget every month. Using those savings, how many months will it take you to whittle down your debt? For instance, if you’re $1000 in debt and you set aside $100 every month for this purpose, you could get rid of the debt before the year is over.
Leave Wiggle Room
You might feel impatient to pay off your debt and dedicate the rest of your budget to this cause, but that can be risky. If you drain your bank account, you could leave yourself vulnerable to an emergency expense. What if your water heater stops working? What if your toilet overflows and you need to call a plumber? You need to leave some savings for these “just in case” moments. Otherwise, you’ll be taking one step forward and two steps back.
If you don’t have the savings in your budget to cover an emergency cost, you don’t have to panic. You have options. You can ask a friend for an IOU. You could put the costs on your credit card (as long as it’s not too close to the limit). Or you could apply online for personal loans in Texas to help you manage that emergency expense quickly — you could be approved for a line of credit, where you can request a withdrawal. As long as your account is in good standing and the request is below your line of credit’s limit, you can draw the funds and have them in your bank account by the next business day.
You should always have a back-up plan.
Boost Your Savings
If you want to boost your debt repayments, you should trim down everyday costs. Here are some ideas that you could try:
- Use coupons and discount codes when you are grocery shopping
- Brew your own coffeeinstead of going to cafes or drive-thrus
- Cook at home more often and avoid ordering takeout
- Callutility providers and ask for them to lower your rates
- Cancel subscriptions and membershipsthat you aren’t using
It’s okay that you got caught up in the holiday frenzy and spent more than you should have. You can fix this problem. When you follow these tips, your finances will be fully recovered in no-time.