If you spent a little too much during the holiday – and over your initial budget, the month of January may bring you a lot of bills and low bank statements as you try to get back to where you were before the holiday. Before you lose your shit and panic like a little girl, calm down and try these great tactics to get your finances back on track after your holiday spending.
1. Balance your budget.
Subtract your expenses from your income and see what’s left. Then try to increase that amount by trimming some expenses. Now commit to using a set portion of those funds every month to pay down your debt or rebuild your bank account.
READ ALSO: How to set up a budget for your salary
2. Commit to a timeline.
If your challenge is a debt to people, add up what you owe and use that number along with the amount from step 1 to calculate how long it will take to pay off the balance.
If your challenge is a depleted bank account, decide how much money you’ll need to bring your balance back to a comfortable level. Divide that sum by the amount you set aside in the step above to see how many months it will take to reach your goal.
|Goal = N500,000 added to your bank account|
|Monthly deposit = N50,000 every month|
|Timeline = 10 months (N500,000/N50,000)|
Once you have a timeframe for paying down or building up, create a visual aid to track your progress. Whether it’s a chart on the refrigerator that you color in or a note on your smartphone that you regularly update, this visible reminder can help you stay on the right path.
3. Boost your income.
Start with any unused holiday bonuses or monetary gifts that you can put toward additional debt payments or bank deposits. Then consider other ways to earn extra cash. For instance, go through closets, cabinets, and cupboards to uncover items you don’t need — and sell them through websites or even a mid-winter garage sale.
Don’t make your post-holiday spending status worse.
It’s impossible to eliminate debt if you keep adding to it, so put your bank cards temporarily out of reach. (Some people literally freeze them in a block of ice!) Next, stop shopping: Post-holiday sales can be oh-so-tempting, but resist. For things you actually need to buy — including groceries — shop sales and compare prices.
These four straightforward steps can put you well on your way to firm financial footing in 2018!