The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and cheer. But for some people, they can turn into a financial nightmare.
Debt is a very real effect of the holiday season Almost 30 percent of people carry holiday debt with them for the entire year. For many, this is an endless cycle of paying too much, then trying to play catch up until the next season. It’s time to break free of this and get rid of your holiday financial hangover for good.
Create a Firm Budget
You’re going to have trouble over the holidays if you don’t create a budget for yourself. The holiday season is a time for giving. But if you go too far overboard, you’re only going to be giving yourself a headache. People who need to take on debt over the holidays on average acquire over $1,000 of it!
You need to put together a budget before you start spending any money. Include everything—from gifts to your gas costs. Keeping tabs on how much you’re spending over the holidays will inspire you to limit yourself.
Use Cash for Most Things
It’s typically easier to use a credit card or cashless app when you’re buying something in the store. This is especially true if you’re already juggling multiple bags and need to be watching children as well. But it’s easy to lose track of your spending when you use electronic payments. Sticking to cash will force you to adhere to your budget, as you’ll know exactly when you’ve reached your spending limit.
Don’t Buy for Adults
Talk to some of the other adults who you’ll be spending time with over the holidays. It’s likely that they’ll be perfectly okay with skipping the whole gift-giving process. This will save everyone a lot of money and time. If they’re anything like you, they’ll also want to avoid the financial hangover that comes after the holidays.
Negotiate Your Debt
People who have substantial issues with debt might want to consider working with an outside organization. Debt negotiation is one of the best ways to get your finances back on track after spending too much. Freedom Debt Relief is one of the top players in the debt relief. Think of it like a detox for your finances. Check out some Freedom Debt Relief reviews on Consumer Affairs to see how they’ve helped other people get their debt under control.
Find Alternatives to Gift Giving
While it’s nice to get a well-intentioned gift from the ones you love, it’s usually more rewarding to spend your time in less material ways. Consider how your friends and family might be able to do things other than spending money on each other. This might mean baking cookies together, going out to see holiday lights, or creating a new tradition altogether.
Don’t Dine Out While Shopping
It’s much more expensive to dine out than it is to prepare your meals at home. This is especially true at the mall—where food prices are inflated even more than usual. You’ll be tempted to buy coffee or food while you’re out shopping. But resisting this urge will make you feel a lot better after the holidays.
Deals Aren’t Always Good
Many people see the word “deal” and immediately feel compelled to buy something. This is exactly what retailers want from you. They’re creating deals because they know it’ll get consumers to spend more money. Sometimes deals can work in your favor; but don’t let them get the best of you. You should never buy something simply because it’s on sale. Only make purchases that you would go through with regardless of whether it’s currently marked down.
Sell Things You Don’t Need
Many folks associate the holidays with acquiring more things. But you might actually be better off getting rid of them. Selling items you don’t use or need any more is the perfect way to lessen your holiday financial hangover. Not only will this put you in a better place with money, you’ll have more room for things that you actually want in your life.
A lot of people get financially overwhelmed by the holidays. People tend to spend too much money—especially on gifts for loved ones. Use some of these ideas to get rid of your financial holiday hangover forever.