Getting Back on Budget After the Holidays

January is the month almost everyone says, “Oops.” That’s when the bills from your holiday spending arrive.

This year, don’t shuffle statements and neglect some bills in order to pay others. You can manage your money – and the lack of it. Here are some tips to get your finances back on budget after the holidays.

1. Stay Positive

Don’t waste time regretting picking up the tab at a restaurant or spending too much on gifts. You can’t change the past. Today and every day in 2020, you’re going to focus on your future! You’ll be managing your money, and that’s something you can feel good about.

2. Review Your Goals

You may feel like you lost ground, but with a little make-up work, you’ll be back on track. Perhaps it’s time to create a new goal for the new year.

3. Reduce Credit Card Use

You may want to reduce expenses in one or more areas. You can:

  • Limit dinner-and-a-movie nights
  • Avoid those post-holiday clearance sales
  • Stick to only spending money you have available now instead of charging it and planning to pay it off later

4. Take Advantage of the 3 Rs

Don’t let the un-gifted presents and gifts you won’t use sit in a closet. The beginning of the year is for the 3 Rs:

  • Redeem – . You may be able to convert the points toward credit card payments.
  • Refund – Let’s hope you saved your receipts! Now’s the time to return those unused gifts. Store credit can also be useful if there’s something else you need there.
  • Return – You know she meant well, but Grandma’s gift of an adult sleeper with footies decorated with Scooby-Doo images isn’t really going to work for you. You should return it for a more practical gift.

Financial Health for 2020

You’re not alone.

Debt from seasonal overspending is one of the top concerns consumers have after January 1. Forbes magazine calls our post-holiday money crunch a “financial hangover.”

If you haven’t already, create a budget to help track your spending and make a resolution to begin a savings plan. Most of us find it easier to have a small amount direct-deposited to savings every paycheck. It can be any amount; what’s important is to consider it untouchable for this year or longer.

A good attitude and a few financial adjustments can help you successfully get back on track. This can be the year you follow a new path toward better budgeting to help you gain more financial savviness.

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