It happens to the most contentious of us. We say we won’t go overboard on holiday spending (and, let’s face it, eating), but we get caught up in the moment. Or, your kid asks for something at the last minute and you don’t have time to bargain shop. And, your Aunt Gertrude is so hard to shop for, so you just throw money at a shop display to get something under the tree for her.
Well, now it’s over and there is hell (and Visa) to pay. What’s the plan?
First, you need to spend less now to pay for what you overspent before. Forgo eating out, movies, spa treatments, happy hours at the bar, even consider suspending cable (or stripping it down to the minimum package) until your debt is paid off.
Now that the holidays are over, chances are you have too much stuff hanging around. Take a hard look around your house/garage/yard and see what could net you some cash on Craig’s list. If you live where the weather is warm year round, you could do a post-holiday yard sale.
If you typically get a tax refund, get your paperwork in order and file as soon as possible. You can use that money back from the government to pay off bills.
Now, how are you going to keep from being in this position next year?
Make a list and check it twice – starting now. Create a holiday shopping list or download one from the web. The list should include names, gift ideas, prices, whether or not the gift has been bought (or ordered). This should help you to not overbuy for one person while forgetting another.
Now that you have your list, start shopping as soon as last year’s debt is paid off. See a cute idea in a catalog for your sister in June? Get it and avoid overloading your bills at the end of the year. Shopping all year long lets you look for bargains, use coupons (hello 20% off at Bed Bath and Beyond!), and generally not buy in a panicked frenzy at year end.
By getting into the habit of being organized and shopping year round for the holidays, I hope your 2016 year- end will be less stressful and better for your finances.
If these topics sound like they would be of interest to your employees, sales conference, or professional organization, contact me at 303-324-0014 or kristi@