Do you feel like you are still in a holiday food coma? Did you eat too many cookies, cupcakes and casseroles? Do you regret what you ate in the last two weeks? I know I do. I had way too many calories and had to work extra hard to keep off any excess weight.
But I’m not here to discuss your diet (I’m not a nutritionist), I’m here to talk about finance. Do you feel like you are in a financial coma after the holidays? Is it surprising to see your credit card bills? Are you subject to buyers remorse? Did you overdo it this holiday? Do you always overdo it?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, I encourage you to follow these simple rules:
1. Decide how much you will spend on gifts this year for your loved ones (make sure your budget has a line item for gifts)
2. It’s not about being generous, it’s about being responsible. If you don’t have the money, don’t give a gift. Get creative, make something (bake cookies, do something with arts and crafts, regift, etc.)
3. If you’re carrying revolving debt — meaning you’re carrying a credit card balance because of your holiday shopping — that means you overspent. You should be able to pay off your credit card balance every month and bring it down to zero…every month.
4. And, if you were already carrying a balance before the holidays, hopefully you didn’t add to that balance.
Don’t beat yourself up. What’s done is done. Learn from it. If there is one resolution I encourage you to make, it’s this: CREATE A BUDGET and stick to it this year.
And, for everyone who already lives within a budget, kudos to you!