How to Bounce Back from Excessive Holiday Spending

Pockets feeling a little light in the new year? With new year celebrations following close on the heels of both Thanksgiving and Christmas, most of us are starting out the new year with at least a little tinge of financial anxiety. Or a maybe a lot of anxiety.

Back in December, Forbes estimated that Americans would spend over $1 trillion on holiday spending in 2016, which is a 3-4% increase from the previous year.

Right. So now you must devise a plan to financially recover from holiday overspending. Here’s a few pointers on your road to monetary stability:

  • Skimp on unnecessary luxuries: Wait to buy that dress you’ve been eyeing; cook meals at home; skip the theaters and rent a movie. Draw a line between what you want and what you need.
  • Access your holiday swag: Forget the obligation to keep every gift you get. If you’d rather get cash back, do so. Look into return policies and redeem those gift receipts.
  • Search for part-time jobs: Cruise craigslist for openings, post your résumé on job sites; reach out to family and friends. Even working a few extra hours each week will help dwindle those outstanding bills.
  • Get an interest-free credit card: Interest rates can be brutal, especially if your post-holiday balance is already through the roof. Considering transferring that balance onto a new credit card that offers an introductory 0% interest rate.
  • File your 2016 taxes: If you normally receive a chunky tax return, file your taxes now to get that return quicker and help cover lingering holiday costs.
  • Prepare next year’s holiday budget: Calculate what you spent this year on holiday spending and divide that number into manageable monthly amounts. Each month spend that amount, and only that amount, on next year’s holiday season.