We all like to spend during holidays, and we should not be ashamed of that. After a very long year of hard work the time finally arrives when we have an excuse to give something to people we like, and treat ourselves a bit too, so nobody wants to miss the holiday train. The problem is that that train sometimes loses its brakes, barges well into the next year, and leaves nothing but debts and devastation behind it. Not the most pleasant situation, but not something you should worry too much about. Let see how we can clean up that mess.
Assess the Damage
We cannot stress enough the importance of taking the deep breath and seeing what went wrong throughout the holidays. Why? Well, if you look only at the bigger picture, you may miss something much more dangerous, and harmful than the usual spending frenzy. So, gather all the bills you can find, ask your bank to print you the overview of your expenses, and see how much of the damage is made during the holidays. If you do not know what your problems are, you cannot possibly hope to solve them.
Start Making Budget
Now is the time to redeem yourself for the previous mistakes, and start thinking responsibly. Of, course you cannot do that without a well-written, rock-solid budget. Here are few tips that should help you to make one:
- Be honest to a fault. Do not make unrealistic assumptions that you can save some money overnight, and you are perfectly aware that you cannot. You will just create more problems in the process. Instead, create very precise out-of-debt road map, and start solving your problems step by step.
- Cut the expenses. Again, if you do not bite off more than you can chew, you will see that the money can be saved virtually anywhere. You do not have to go out of the debt at the expense of bills, and other important things, but saving some money on gas, going out, Netflix, and similar small things can prove to be tremendously helpful.
- Always hope for the worst. Do not rely too much on various bonuses and earnings that are still not in your pocket. If they appear - fine, but for now keep side earnings out of the equation. Speaking of…
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Constantly Revisit Your Budget
Your budget may be very good, but it is not written in stone, so do not treat it like that. If you see that things are simply not enveloping how you hoped for in spite all of your efforts, do not be afraid to tweak it, or even rewrite it completely. And not only that – If you revisit your budget every now and then, you may notice something you overlooked while you were writing it. If you just want to be thorough, make yourself a budget-revisiting schedule and you will have nothing to worry about.
So, while certainly unpleasant, overwhelming holiday spending is neither unusual, nor devastating as it looks at the first glance. You will have to pay a price in the following months, though, but if you have a solid budget, you are adaptable, and you manage to earn some money on the side, you will have no problems solving this issue.