There were some holidays where my family would go all out for presents and festivities. But when it came to budgeting and saving for the holidays beforehand… well let’s just say it wasn’t their strong suit.
And for many of us, knowing how to get back on track can be super hard! But thankfully there are plenty of tips and tricks to make things easier.
So here are some simple things you can apply to your situation to track your finances effectively. While you won’t achieve financial independence overnight, taking a step in the right direction can definitely get you ahead. So check them out and let me know what you think.
Start an Inventory
Analyze and take an inventory of all your holiday finances including your spendings, budget, and debt. Then list and rank your debt’s according to there interest rate, and due dates. Lastly, total all your spendings and budget. This will give you a clear vision of what happened to your holiday spendings and finances and how can you recover from all of this.
Review Your Cash Flow
After figuring out where all your holiday money went, it’s now time to figure out your cash flow. Determine how much money you can earn monthly, other sources of income, tax refunds, and bonuses. You’ll realize after reviewing your income if it’s enough to cover up all your expenses or you need to strive to earn more money (working overtime, finding a second job, finding a side hustle, etc.
Create a Budget and Spending Plan
If you’re spending more than what you’re earning, it’s a sure sign that your finances are headed for trouble. To make sure you have a greater income than your spendings, track all your expenses for a month or two and then create a budget. This will help you identify which spending to cut off so you can save more. You can also group your expenses into two, fixed and variable. The fixed expenses included items like mortgage and household utilities. While the variable spending are the expenses mostly done for your wants.
Pay-Off and Stay Out of Debt
This phrase may be enough to scare you, but with just enough planning and strategizing you can get free of all your debt.
To get started, check out the baby steps method by Dave Ramsey. He suggests throwing as much money as you can at your smallest debt, and only paying the minimum on your others. This method works psychologically. Once you pay off each debt, it’ll get you excited and help you stay motivated towards paying off the other debts.
Increase Your Income
Side hustles are a great way to increase your income. Side hustles are a way to make money from home and can make you a good amount of income. However, you shouldn’t overlook your day job that has great money making opportunities as well. Why not volunteer for overtime, as for a raise, or look at positions within your company that are better paid? It only makes sense right?
It’s easy to say that you’ll limit your spending and save more. But it’s never that easy. To stay committed to your financial goals, have a daily or weekly money meeting with your partner or just yourself. Make it a habit to look over your spending and earned income. Doing this will help you easily track where your money went, what to cut off, and how can you save more.
Prepare a Savings Plan
A saving plan can play an important role in your finances. It’s your emergency fund, money put away for specific times of the year (holidays), or even early retirement. Definitely consider opening one up or even a separate bank account(s) for each different savings plan you want to invest in.
Start Using the 30-Day Rule
Here’s a good way to trick yourself when tempted to buy something that you don’t necessarily need. Leave the item at the store for a couple weeks. It’ll still be there, and you have time to think if you really want it. Many times I’ll wait two weeks and by the end of it, I don’t even want it. The idea of the item and the newness has worn off of me (much like if I had actually bought it!)
Plan Now For the Next Holiday
It’s never too early to plan for your next holiday, in fact, doing this can save a lot of money. Make a list of your friends and family you want to give presents to and write down what they want. Then in the mean time, you can find bargain sales before things get expensive during the holidays.
And while you’re doing that, open up a separate saving account for Christmas! Many banks already offer this, so throughout the year, you can throw in as little or as much as you want.
Whether it’s the new year or it’s getting close, now is always the best time to go after your finances. Yes, it’s easiest to think of them when things are tight, I totally get it! But even if it’s a few months before Christmas, or you just spent a lot of money during the holidays, now is always the best time to start.
And above are some awesome ideas to get your finances back on track and help you recover from all your spending. So give them a try and let me know what you think.
Now, if you have any questions about this post, let me know in the comments down below! I’d love to help you out!