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 hangovers during the holidays, with a couple key antidotes.
There are no catchy phrases to help you remember which order to do your spending to prevent this financial hangover and 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 here 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 Instagram without someone placing a well-researched ad in your sights- so what’s a person to do?
Fear not! We’ve got you covered.
Here are some of our anti- financial hangover tips. Follow these closely, drink some coffee, and call us on the 26th.
- Get a jumpstart. Planning early will prevent spending too much on items. You can shop around for the best deals and prices when you plan in advance. Want to be even more prepared? Get started even earlier. Setup a Christmas or Hanukkah Savings NOW for next year and gone are the days of binge spending money you don’t have or haven’t budgeted. You don’t need to find a “Christmas Club” or anything fancy. Just a short-term savings account will do.
- Set a budget and make it reasonable. Think through and 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. Virtually all 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 be actually quite nice.
- Leave your credit cards at home. 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 may not even need your credit cards to bail you out. Don’t wait for the Holiday haze to lift and then you 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 long lasting financial hangover!
- Keep track. 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 we were too late with our financial hangover busting tips and you didn’t get a chance to plan ahead. You can avoid a financial hangover by pulling yourself together right away. 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.
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!
Now you can’t say we’ve never spared you the craziness of a financial hangover. BUT if you find yourself crying on the edge of your bed with only one shoe on come December 26th morning, give Michael a call.