No matter how much you did or didn’t celebrate the holidays, January can leave many people feeling financially low. There’s a lot of winter left and maybe not much keeping the bank accounts warm… Read on for some Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to shedding those holiday debts:
DO: Take out the trash – financially speaking that is! If you’re feeling scattered make a point of setting aside some time to sort out your paperwork. Add up receipts, bills and upcoming expenses to get a clear picture of your financial position. Additionally, if you’ve overspent, see if you can’t help the de-cluttering process by returning any holiday purchases you may now be second guessing.
DON’T: Stay with a budget that isn’t working for you. If you know your current budget isn’t cutting it or won’t work now that some changes have happened don’t hesitate to reevaluate it. Being constantly over-budget or short on money are clear signs that something isn’t in sync. In short, if it’s broke – DO fix it!
DO: Set some goals for the future. Take advantage of a brand new year and come up with some attainable short and long-term goals that you can track progress and measure. Once you’ve been able to achieve one or two goals you’ll find that the momentum can give you determination to keep going.
DON’T: Avoid facing financial facts. Scared to open your mail? Dreading checking your bank account balance? Take a big breath and do both – regularly! Avoiding knowing where you really stand won’t help a problematic situation; if anything it will aggravate the issues. A new year is also a great marker for a time to review your credit report; ensure it is accurate and check for any suspicious transactions.
DO: Give yourself a break. If the holidays were hectic for you and your bank account take a step back. Spend some time doing activities that don’t cost anything and put your credit cards or lines of credit on ice to cool down for awhile. See just how long you can go without pulling out your credit card for purchases.
DON’T: Procrastinate about asking for help. If you know that things are getting a bit out of hand or are already just out of manageable reach and payments you’re making are just scratching away at the interest, don’t hesitate to ask a professional for advice. Trustees in Bankruptcy are licensed, reputable AND legally-bound to discuss all your debt options with you. Find out the facts about your debt situation before it keeps you up at night.
Whether you’re trying to climb over post-holiday fiscal blues, looking to tackle finances that have been troublesome for a while or just turning over a new money leaf, a new year is a great time to start. Make the most of a fresh calendar with some positive financial changes!