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Financial Reset After Holiday Stress

If the excitement of spending for the holidays burned a hole in your wallet and burned you out, your financial health may be causing you major stress into the new year. Now is the perfect time to take a close look at your financial standing and clean up the holiday spending aftermath.

Assess Your New Debt Load

It is important to review your newly acquired debt and put together a payoff plan. Gaining clarity on the state of your finances early in the year can help prevent procrastination. Consider this new debt a cost or expense of the holiday season that needs to be paid sooner rather than later.

Review Possible Gift Returns

If you received a gift that you know you won’t use, go ahead and use that gift receipt. If you take the item back to the store, you could exchange it for something useful that you actually need. This could help you save money by eliminating a cost you would have had to make.

Send In All Rebates

If you took advantage of the holiday sales and made some big-ticket purchases, be sure to make use of the rebate offers and get the cash back you deserve. Many big-ticket items, including computers, televisions, and home appliances, were sold with a rebate offer during the holiday season. Sending in all rebate materials early means you’ll have extra cash to pay off debt or simply restore your savings account.

Take Advantage of Post-Holiday Sales

Now maybe the last thing you want to think about after making it through the holidays is more shopping. But Christmas decorations and popular holiday gifts conveniently go on clearance right after the holidays. If these discounted items are in your budget for the new year, buy them now while deals are available to save money next year, which may help you reduce future holiday financial stress. Then you can put any gifts away for next year and cross an extra person off your shopping list early.

Set Three-Month Budget Goals

Starting off the year with short-term goals can make managing your holiday financial stress much easier. Start tracking all of your expenses and create a realistic spending plan for the rest of winter. As the new year unfolds, review your budget on a regular basis, and adjust for any increases in expenses, new credit card debt, or new loans.

If you went beyond your budget this holiday season, use this opportunity to review your finances and make some tweaks to your spending habits. You’ll be on a healthy financial track, and feel good about it, before you know it.


Sources and enhancements by Credit Union of Denver

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