Still can’t bring yourself to look at those bills you have from the holidays? You’re definitely not alone, but it’s better to start reviewing those financials sooner rather than later. We’ve put together three ways to help you get past that holiday spending splurge and move your finances forward in 2022.
Create a Budget
Your first step in any new year should be to create a budget. You and your family should take time to review your bills, expected expenses, obligations, and any current and outstanding holiday bills. How does your income match up?
You may find you have to cut expenses in order to afford your bills or you could discover you didn’t quite spend as much as you thought. It’s a good idea to put any extra money into savings, though, not simply recycle them into a larger holiday budget at the end of 2022!
If you’re struggling to create a budget, there are plenty of apps out there that can help you keep better track of your finances. One example is YNAB (or You Need a Budget). You could also opt for Excel or Google Sheets templates that are designed for budgeting.
Pay Off Your Debt
If you racked up debt from your holiday spending, now is the time to tackle it. It’s a good idea to pay off credit cards each and every month in full. This helps you reap the benefits of your credit cards without the interest. If you can’t afford to pay it all off though, pay as much as you can while still being able to afford your bills and expenses. This will help to ensure the interest doesn’t start mounting.
This is also a good time to review your options when it comes to your credit cards. Do you have a strong credit score? You could qualify for a balance transfer to a new credit card with a 0% interest rate for transfers. You might also want to apply for a personal loan that has a lower interest rate than your credit card and save money there.
Create a Plan for the Upcoming Holidays
The 2022 holiday season may feel like a ways off – after all, it was just a couple of weeks ago! But we all know how time flies as we get older. Now is the perfect time to set a holiday budget. You know exactly how much you spent and if you spent too much.
And as we mentioned before, you may not want to throw extra finances into your holiday budget even if you have some wiggle room. It’s a good idea to have solid savings before you increase spending.
Keep this information so you can reference it as we start to get closer to the holiday season.
Holiday spending can certainly create problems for families’ budgets come January. But it’s the perfect time to take a few hours to review your budget, spending habits, debt, and other financial information to create a plan for the 12 months ahead.