5 Ways to Recover from a Holiday Spending Hangover
Decorating, extra cooking, shopping, all that extra gift wrapping…it's easy to overindulge during the holidays. The spending can add up quickly, leaving you with a mountain of credit card debt in January or a hole in your savings account. It happens to most people at least once, but these tips can put you on the road to recovery.
Didn't get what you wanted for Christmas? It can be tempting to hit the after-Christmas sales to buy the gifts you wanted but didn't get. Instead of doing that—and possibly getting yourself deeper in debt—consider exchanging something you didn't want for something you do want. Besides, by the time the post-holiday sales start, inventory is pretty picked over and there's a good chance the item you want is gone anyway.
If you're more of an online shopper, unsubscribe from store emails until you have a handle on your debt and resist the temptation to visit your favorite online shopping sites.
Tape Your Cards
Put a piece of masking tape on your credit cards with a note that reminds you of the pain you are going through now due to overspending. It will make you think twice before you use that card next time, and it will make you ask yourself if you really need what you are buying or if it's something you just want.
Create a Plan
Whether you spent too much on your credit cards or need to replenish the savings you spent on the holidays, try to dedicate a certain amount of your income each month towards replenishing that savings or paying off those credit cards. Once that's done, you can save that same amount each month to spend on the holidays next year.
Analyze What You Spent
It's easy to feel generous during the holidays and spend more on gifts than you intended. Realize that those on your gift list probably don't expect you to overspend and wouldn't want you to incur large amounts of debt for the holidays. After all, do you expect your friends and families to get you a gift—and go into debt doing it? Probably not—and chances are they don't either. They will probably be happy if you just put some thought into their gift—or that you thought to get them anything at all! If expectations are otherwise, you might want to reevaluate those relationships.
Shop at Home…
…but not on the computer! After Christmas, spend a few weekends cleaning out closets and your basement. You might find clothes you forgot you had that you still love or that can be mixed with other pieces in your closet to create whole new outfits. Get rid of anything you don't wear anymore or that doesn't fit.
In the basement, go through a few boxes each weekend to see what you're keeping that you just don't use or need anymore. You can either sell those items or donate them to charity.
There's nothing worse than the feeling you get when you've spent too much. The only thing that can make it better is paying off the debt or growing your savings account. Remembering how hard it is to pay off debt or rebuild savings will help you keep your spending under control during the holidays next year.