You’ve budgeted. You’ve made a list of gifts. You may even have told your siblings to limit $20 to all gifts. However, somehow you have managed to overs spend this Christmas. Maybe you forget your granddaughter or don’t charge the cost of food and alcohol to your original budget, which makes you struggling to find money at the last minute. Whether you withdraw your credit card or pay cash, overs until Christmas can put you back until the summer.
Don’t let your budget run out during the holidays making it impossible to make strong financial decisions at the start of the new year. If you eat clumsy at Christmas, here’s what you should do next.
Get a delivery
You’ve taken your time to deny it, but January comes and goes, and now is the time to face any damage you’ve done over the holidays. Take a few minutes to sit down with your bank statement or receipt and tally how much you’ve exceeded your budget. Make sure you know where that money comes from. Did you take it out of January’s grocery envelope or charge it to a credit card? Don’t waste your time tracking those unexpected expenditures, or putting yourself at risk of missing out on credit card payments.
Get it right
Once you have a clear picture of the damage that has occurred, embark on remedying it. There are a number of different approaches to restoring your December overs outing.
Commit to a week or a month of no spending, offsetting your unexpected Christmas costs in just one discount. The idea behind spending quickly is to commit to just paying your bills and doing with what you have at hand. Buy your freezer and pantry for inexpensive meals like beans and rice, burrito bowls, or pasta. Skip dinner invitations during the month, redirecting the money you usually spend when out with friends to pay off Your Christmas debt. Drink coffee at home, instead of from the local café. These steps are certainly small, but they actually add up when they are combined and observed throughout the month.
Make a few small cuts in a few months. If living with beans and rice for four weeks in a row does not make you happy, you can also re-collect with a few small cuts in a few months. Can you live without Netflix and Hulu until you pay back yourself? Maybe you downs down to one cup of coffee a week, instead of two, or you give up meat a few nights a week to cut shopping costs.
Whether you earn overtime at your current job, get a free-to-perform contract, or start selling your stuff, there are plenty of ways to quickly pay for excessive spending. Sites like Fiverr allow you to sell your skills, starting at $5 and being an easy way to make money quickly. If you’re really struggling, a part-time job driving for Uber or door-to-door delivery can get you back on the road quickly.
Plan to use your budget in the coming year
So you’ve finally revised your unders up-to-date spending over the holidays and you’re ready to continue your year. Not too fast! Now is the time to plan for next year, otherwise it will repeat the same mistakes. What makes you overs spend this year? Was it due to a lack of self-discipline or was your initial budget destroyed in the first place?
Consider adjusting your budget for next year to reflect what you actually spent in December. Now, let’s calculate how much you need to save each month to avoid falling into debt this year and make it automatic. Set up a separate savings account and an automated transfer. When November comes, you’ll be glad you don’t have to scramble to pay for Christmas costs
I know from experience it is easy for you to make financial mistakes and let them hinder you from progress. Now that you’ve fixed your Christmas spending and you’re already planning to do better next year, it’s time to forgive yourself and move on. Money mistakes are bad, but they don’t have to control your future.