We’ve almost made it through the holiday season, and now it’s time to get REAL serious about finances and the new year. You probably read my post recently about why finances should be at the top of your new year’s resolutions list and today we are going to tackle how to recover from holiday spending. No matter how hard we try we all tend to just spend a bit more in the weeks leading up to the holidays. So now, let’s focus on how to get back on track.
How To Recover From Holiday Spending
- Give yourself a no-spend challenge: I love a good January challenge and a no-spend challenge is great. I did one a few years ago and it really sets your year off right. I feel like doing it in January can benefit you throughout the year. Bonus: Try to get a group together to do a no-spend challenge. Maybe your coworkers so you aren’t tempted to go out for lunches, or maybe your group of girlfriends so you can find fun things to do that don’t cost money!
- Utilize the holiday gift cards you were given: If you are anything like me you mostly get gift cards for the holidays. I have a hard time thinking of tangible items to ask for and my parents insist on doing something so it’s usually gift cards to my nail place, Starbucks, Target, Visa, and Lululemon. I find this better than just picking random stuff to ask for that I don’t really need. That way come January when I am trying to curb spending I can still do some fun things because I have gift cards!
- Look for after-holiday deals: Basically, every store has another Black Friday right after the holidays. They are trying to make room for spring stuff or new items so EVERYTHING is on sale. If there are things you absolutely need wait for an after-holiday deal.
- Purge: Nothing like being bombarded with kids’ toys to make you purge. OK maybe just me. Usually right after Christmas between the influx of kid’s toys and just feeling overwhelmed by stuff I purge. This is not only a great way to clean your house but you can make some serious money! Sell items you don’t use anymore or don’t need, or donate things and get a tax write-off!
- Assess what you spent: I think it’s a good idea to go over EVERYTHING you spent over the holidays: gifts, decor, entertaining, travel, etc. It’s a good time to see how you did, see if there’s anything you can change for the next year, etc.
- Figure out a good payment plan: Well now that you’ve assessed that stuff has to be paid off! I have talked before about if you use credit cards how it’s important to pay the balance off each month.
- Start prepping for your tax return: I will have a HUGE post all about tax returns coming up soon but this is a great time to start prepping for your tax returns. It will make you focus less on spending and more on what’s to come. If you get a great tax return you can use part of it to pay off your holiday spending!
- Put your focus away from spending: That’s why a no-spend challenge is great. It puts your focus on other things. I like to also use this time to focus on health and fitness goals, and start over on good habits or take up a new hobby!
- Check your credit score… A LOT: With holiday spending, holiday identity theft being much higher, etc it’s a great time to go over your credit and see what your score is. Also, a good time to see if there’s anything off with your score. Do you see a bad mark? Do you see something that isn’t yours? Now is as good of a time as any to look over it and get down to business.
Holiday spending can feel overwhelming once those bills roll in, in January but it doesn’t have to be! Try these steps and hopefully you will feel less stressed!
How do you recover from holiday spending?
This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated for 2021.