Too much eggnog could give you a hangover just as spending too much during the holidays could find you with a financial hangover come December 26th. We’re going to help you avoid financial holiday hangovers, with a couple key antidotes!
There are no catchy phrases to help you remember which order to do your spending to prevent a financial hangover.
Trust us, your family will not be holding your hand as you cry over your empty wallets. They’ll be playing with the toys and gadgets that got you hungover in the first place.
Let’s be honest, every commercial, ad, and store are vying for your attention and coins this time of year. You can’t turn on the tv or scroll the internet without someone placing a well-researched Black Friday or Cyber Monday ad in your sights.
According to MagnifyMoney’s annual post-holiday debt survey, Americans racked up more than $1,000 in holiday debt at the end of 2018.
On top of that, 28 percent of shoppers went in to the 2018 season still paying off debt from 2017′s festivities.
You should should care because:
- Americans racked up more than $1,000 in holiday debt at the end of last year.
- Only 42 percent of shoppers said they’ll pay off those purchases in three months or less. More said it will take five months or more, according to one report.
- If you only make the minimum payments, it could take more than five years.
“28 percent of shoppers went in to the 2018 season still paying off debt from 2017′s festivities.“
So what’s a person to do?
Fear not! We bring you good tips of great worth.
Here are some of our Financial Hangover tips for you and your family to follow:
- Plan Ahead. 🗓 Planning early will prevent spending too much on items. You can shop around for the best deals and prices when you plan in advance. Black Friday is a great time to snag some deals but don’t drive yourself crazy. Cyber Monday is just around the corner.
Want to be even more prepared? Get started even earlier. Setup a Christmas or Hanukkah Savings NOW and by next year you won’t have . You don’t need to find a “Christmas Club” or anything fancy. Just a short-term savings account will set you up for a guilt-free holiday.
- Set Your Budget and Make It Reasonable. 💵 Even if you plan to be frugal, there’s pretty much no way around the fact that the holiday months will cost you more than other months of the year. But you can prepare yourself for the inflated costs during the holidays by figuring out who you’re buying for, what your holiday plans are and setting a limit on your spending.
Are you hosting any parties? Are you exchanging names or buying a gift for everyone? Write down everyone you need to shop for and then assign a dollar amount to their present.
Thankfully, there’s an app for that! PCMag gives us the 9 apps to help keep your Holiday shopping ducks in a row. Remember to add a few extra gifts for impromptu White Elephant parties.
Lastly, most websites have a search feature that you can filter gifts by dollar amount – use it!
Make that list, check it twice and you’ll realize holiday budgeting can actually be quite nice.
- Ditch the Plastic. 💳 Cash is king and you can shop like royalty if you remember to use your debit card and cash instead of credit cards. Once you plan ahead and set that budget, you shouldn’t even need your credit cards to bail you out. Don’t wait for the Holiday haze to lift and then realize just how much you charged. If you must use your card for points or perks, be sure to pay them off within the month to avoid paying interest. No one wants that!
- Keep A Watchful Eye. 👁 As you get closer to your big holiday make sure you’re keeping tabs on your spending. Check off the list as you buy things, so you don’t double buy or forget someone on the “nice” list.
If you keep track, you can adjust your list or dollar amounts accordingly before the spiral begins.
- Get back on track by New Year’s Day. ✔︎ OK, so you went a little nuts on the gift baskets, bought presents for all the teachers in school and maybe a few for yourself. Or maybe you didn’t get a chance to plan ahead – you can avoid a financial hangover by pulling yourself together right away! Stop the spiral and assess the damage.
Need to call in some reinforcements? We’ve got you covered!
Michael can go over some simple budget reminders with you or you can sip the leftover eggnog while perusing our personal budgeting tools. We can also help you set up a plan to pay off your holiday binging – quickly!
“Stop the spiral and assess the damage.“
You need to know that your budget isn’t a lost cause, just because your Holiday revelry got outta hand. Assess the damage, clean up the wreckage and get it together!
You have a whole year ahead of you to get back on track. Get to it!
The holiday season is all about spending… time with the people you love. Don’t make the mistake of allowing the feelings of joy and love turn into feelings of disappointment and dread due to post-holiday debt or overspending.
“The holiday season is all about spending… time with the people you love.”
Make it a bit easier on yourself by taking a few moments to talk to your significant other, make a plan, set realistic expectations, and have a holly jolly holiday season!