Is your wallet feeling a little lighter than it did just a few months back? Don’t feel bad – it happens to the best of us this time of year. Many people have a hard time getting back to some semblance of a budget after the holidays. With the added debt of buying presents, some people struggle with money long after the Ghosts of Christmas have passed on.
Now that the New Year is officially underway, however, it’s time to get back on track with your finances. It’s important to formulate a plan for your money each month so you avoid falling into a debt trap you can’t get out of. Here are a few secrets to help you gain control of your finances once again.
Borrow Money to Pay off Your Debt
One of the quickest ways to eliminate the extra debt you accumulated during the end of last year is to get a loan. There are fast loans online with little to no interest that will help you pay off that debt in less than a year. By the time the holidays roll around again, you can be debt-free and ready to do it all over again – although maybe with a stricter budget next time.
Evaluate and Understand Your Financial Situation
If you’ve never taken the time to understand your financial situation truly, you’re going to find yourself in some serious trouble. Take a look at your bank accounts and the entirety of your expenses each month and get a good idea of where your money goes. You can’t begin to formulate a plan if you have no idea where your money goes. When you start keeping tabs on how much you spend in an average day, week, or month, you’ll begin to see it adding up in ways you perhaps never realized.
Create or Update Your Budget
If you’re used to following a budget and simply got off-track over the holidays, simply update the plan and get back to it. If you didn’t have a budget at all, now’s the time to make one. Use online budgeting tools to create a budget you can stick to. If you’re having trouble, you can adjust it. Then, when you get used to the routine and start noticing a little extra spending money left over, you can adjust again in the other direction. Make your budget work for you for the best results.
Use Cash Instead of Plastic
The experts say you use 12-15 percent more money using plastic than cash. Start controlling your spending using the envelope system. Label several envelopes with your budget categories. Place enough cash in each to cover your expenses. When an envelope is empty, buy nothing else in that category for the rest of the month.
Learn to Say No and Stick to It
This tip relies on sheer willpower. Learn to say no to yourself, your spouse, or your kids when you want something that isn’t in the budget. It will be difficult at first, and there will likely be some angry family members, but once you figure out what works and what doesn’t, you and your family members will be able to follow the budget without feeling as if you are missing out.
It can be difficult getting control of your money again once the holidays are over. While many people struggle with it for months afterward, you can get back on track with your finances by following the tips outlined above. Hopefully, with a little luck and willpower on your part, you’ll be out of the red in no time.
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