How to manage financial stress post-holidays
The holidays are exciting for many reasons, but that thrill can often lead to overspending. Whether it be on gifts, travel, or other festivities, your budget can take a major hit which can lead to financial stress. In fact, 73% of Americans rank finances as their number one stress in life. Especially now that we’re one month into the new year, you don’t want your spending to halt any goals or resolutions. Not sure where to start? Take these steps to ease some post-holiday financial stress.
Assess Your Current Financial State
The holidays can be hectic, which makes it easy to lose track of your spending. Especially with credit cards and buy now, pay later programs, it’s more tempting than ever to forget about the cost of your purchases and worry about it when the statement comes. However, once your bills rack up and the new year rolls around, it’s time to face reality.Examine your bank account and purchase history to determine how much you actually spent and where you may have borrowed money. Doing an audit of your spending will help relieve the stress from not knowing how much money you owe and will help you create an organized plan to move forward.
Create a Budget
Once you’ve determined how much money you spent and now owe, it’s time to create a budget. When designing your budget, look at your monthly income and expenses and any other financial goals you want to save up for.If you’re having trouble finding ways to save money, take a second look at your non-essential expenses. This includes subscriptions, shopping, dining out, and anything that isn’t necessary to live on. You can easily cut down on expenses by finding more affordable rates on common costs like your insurance or phone bill. With TextNow’s Nationwide Talk & Text service, you can get unlimited calling and texting for free, which eliminates another expense from your list!
Pay Back Debt
One of the biggest stressors about holiday shopping is going into debt. In fact, 36% of consumers went into debt this holiday season, owing an average of $1,249, which can be difficult to manage on top of your other bills. If you have any debt, make an organized plan to pay it off as soon as possible to avoid additional fees and interest. This is where utilizing your budget will come in handy!Finding ways to cut back on your expenses will allow you to dedicate more money towards debt repayment. While small changes to your spending can help, sometimes that’s not enough, especially if you have a considerable amount of debt. In this case, getting a second job or starting a side hustle are also good options to earn some extra income. If you’re a homeowner, you can also research how to use your home’s equity for debt repayment. Although you’d technically be taking out another loan, this option has a lower interest rate than a personal loan or credit card, and gives you the money in one lump sum so you can immediately start tackling high-interest debt or other high-priority bills.
Managing your finances can definitely be hectic after the holidays, but with these tips you’ll be ready to tackle whatever comes your way. Staying organized, creating a budget, and finding ways to cut back on expenses like getting rid of your cell phone bill will help your finances get a fresh start!