the post-holiday recovery guide
Get back on track for 2023!
January 6, 2023
holidays are over, and if you’ve gone over budget with your spending, it’s time to deal with the
aftermath. Instead of living in a financial deficit, take steps to repair your budget as soon as the
last guest leaves.
how you can get your budget back on track for the new year.
Review your holiday
you take steps toward financial post-holiday recovery, take stock of your finances. How much credit
card debt did you rack up this season? Did you dip into a savings account that now needs to be
replenished? Spend some time crunching the numbers so you have a better idea of what kind of recovery
steps you need to take now.
Choose your recovery
you’ve got your numbers clear, you’ll need to decide on a path toward recovery.
you’ve really blown it this season, and you’ve got multiple credit card balances to pay off, you may
want to consolidate your debt. You can accomplish this by taking out a personal/unsecured loan and
then using the funds to pay off your credit card debt. You’ll be left with a single, low-interest
payment to make each month.
Alternatively, you can pay
off one credit card bill at a time, maximizing payments on the bill with the highest balance, or the
one with the highest interest rate, until it’s completely paid off. Once you’ve crossed one balance
off your list, move on to the next until you’re debt-free. Don’t get stuck paying just the minimum
balance on each card each month, or you may be paying those credit card bills for years to
close look at your monthly spending to find places to cut back. Are you paying multiple subscriptions
each month for apps you never, or rarely, use? Those small fees can add up quickly. Can you cut back
on your grocery bill? Perhaps you’re overdoing it on takeout or dining out. Is there any way you can
negotiate with a service provider, such as cable or internet, for a better monthly rate? Maybe it’s
time to shop around for a less expensive auto insurance policy. Trim the extra wherever you can to
free up more money for paying down debt.
Put your holiday resources
with a pile of debt, the holiday season may have left you with some extra cash through work bonuses,
tax returns and gift money. Put these resources to work by using a portion of this money, or even all
of it, toward paying down your holiday debt. It may sting to use “extra” money for something as
utilitarian as a credit card bill, but getting rid of the debt faster so you can return to your normal
spending patterns can motivate you to make this choice.
Go on a shopping
the holidays, you shopped until you dropped and then you may have shopped some more. Now, it’s time
for a shopping detox. Take a break from the mall this month and close all those open tabs presenting
your favorite clothing brands. Resolve to swipe the plastic only for essentials this month, or at
least to keep discretionary purchases to a minimum until your budget recovers. Trimming expenses is
never fun, but remind yourself that it’s only temporary until you’re financially fit again.
Make a plan for next year’s
never too early to start thinking about next year’s winter holidays. Instead of using the months
before Christmas stressing out over how much you’re spending, and the months after the holidays
stressing about paying your bills, pay a little bit toward your holiday expenses each month of the
year for a much less stressful holiday season. When you open a holiday “You Name It” account at
MidWest America Federal Credit Union, you can set up an automatic monthly transfer from your checking
account to feed your holiday savings.
blew your budget this holiday season, you’ll need to take steps to help your finances recover. Use the
tips outlined here to get started.