money management

How to Get Over the Winter Blues

Sad dog

Does your money have the post-holiday blues?  If you’re money situation is a little bit sad in the New Year it’s time to take the steps to change your habits to get out of the funk.  January is a tough time of the year: it’s cold, it’s grey and we spend most of the time inside.

On top of that your credit cards may be maxed out or have high balances and your savings account may be drained.  There’s no time like the present to kick your financial habits into a new gear.

Get over the winter blues with these easy money tips:

Learn a new hobby that saves you money

The New Year is time for a new beginning.  Learning a new hobby is fun and it can save you money at the same time. If you spend a lot of money on eating out then take up a new hobby this year such as cooking.  Eating in even three times a week can help save money.  That extra cash in your pocket can be used to pay down debt or to start building up your savings account.

Check your credit score to see the damage

Even though your financial situation may not be ideal, it may not be as bad as you think.  Before you panic about your overspending during the holidays check your credit score to see if the damage is as bad as you think it is.  You can get your FREE Credit Score from Credit Sesame.  Once you know your exact financial state you can make a plan to start making it better.

Stop talking about it and start making payments

Holiday debt won’t get paid off until you start making payments.  So often we like to dwell on how unpleasant a situation is because that’s easier than actually doing the work to improve the financial mess.  Today is the day to stop talking about your less than perfect financial situation and start doing something about it.  Start making payments, like now.

Set up automatic payments

The only way I know to save and pay off debt is by setting up automatic payments.  If money is in my account I am most likely going to spend it.  So to avoid the temptation to spend money on things I don’t need I set up automatic payments that coincide with my pay.

Every two weeks I have automatic transfers that go into my short term and retirement savings as well as pay off my outstanding debts.  This way everything gets paid and saved on time and I don’t have to worry about it.

Start planning for next year

Avoid putting yourself through this same stress next year by planning ahead.  Instead of using credit and making payments to pay it off start saving now.  Putting $50 per month into savings over the next 10 months will add up to $500 for your holiday shopping.  That’s much better than paying off debt while it’s accumulating interest.

Planning ahead also helps you set a spending limit.  If you have $500 saved then you can only spend $500 during the holidays.  The option to spend with credit cards can be a big temptation.  Saving cash instead of using credit during the holidays can help keep your finances in order.

How do you plan for holiday shopping?

Photo from Pixabay

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  • That’s such a good idea Money Beagle. I used to be all about paying for everything on credit cards then paying it off. Now I buy gifts over time as I save. I usually start my shopping in September and by December 1 I’m done. Then I can put them under the tree and enjoy!

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