The holidays have come and gone and January is finally here.
Unfortunately, with January often comes a bit of a reality check from a budget perspective.
You might find that you spent a bit too much during the holiday season, and that fact will be reflected in your bank and credit card statements. So, is there anything you can do to get back on track after holiday overspending?
Yes! Follow these 4 tips below to get back on track after holiday overspending as quickly as possible.
Dine in for the Month
You probably ate out at restaurants a bit more often during November and December than you would normally, so back off of that habit to save some money during the first few weeks of the new year. Commit yourself to making dinner at home each night during January, and even continue that trend into February if you find that you are saving more money than expected. You can also save on grocery bills by using some of your preserved foods from summer and fall.
In addition to financial savings, this tip could do your waistline some good as well, which might be helpful after a holiday season that can feature some added indulgence in the sweet treats.
Spend Extra Time at Work
If you have a job that allows you to work extra hours from time to time in order to boost your income, consider working overtime during January in order to get back on the right financial track. Set a goal for yourself in terms of extra earnings and make sure you put in enough hours to hit that mark.
Once you get back on budget successfully, you can return to your normal work levels (unless you want to keep working overtime and making extra money, of course).
Use Your New Toys
One of the common causes of overspending is simple boredom – when looking for something to do, many people turn to shopping. However, after the holidays, you shouldn’t need to go to the stores for new purchases, since you probably picked up a fair amount of new stuff in the form of gifts. Whatever those gifts happened to be, make an effort to use them actively during the first weeks of the new year.
In addition to having fun with your new items and activities, you can also effectively distract yourself from falling back into the trap of shopping for new toys out of boredom.
Get Back to the Budget
Sometimes, all you need to do in order to restore order to your financial life is to get back to basics. Renew your focus on sticking to your monthly budget, and avoid making any unnecessary purchases. Unless you went way over and above your budget during the holidays, you probably don’t need to do anything too drastic in January and February to recover.
Do a good job of getting back to your budget as quickly as possible and you should be able to smooth out any damage that was done over the holiday season. Here’s to a successful new year full of smart financial decisions!
Did you fall for holiday overspending? What are you going to do to get back on track with your finances?
Photo courtesy of: Kyle May
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