The holidays are over. Did you stick to your personal finance goals? Now it’s time to look at your finances and your holiday spending and evaluate how you did. Some of you will find that you were able to navigate the holidays successfully. Others will find that they used those credit cards or spent more than they should. If this is the case, now is the perfect time to start recovering from those mistakes.
Figure Out what Went Wrong and Plan for Next Year
If you did make some mistakes this year, figure out why it happened. Maybe you didn’t save enough during the year to cover your holiday expenses or maybe you bought things that you shouldn’t have. What will you change next year? Should you start saving now for the holidays? Take this opportunity to learn from your mistakes so that you can have a financially successful holiday season next year.
Create a Debt Elimination Plan
If you did use those credit cards, now is the perfect time to start thinking about how you will pay them off. Look at your budget and determine how much extra money you can use towards debt repayment. While you may not want to shave $100 a month off of your entertainment budget, this might be what you have to do to fix your mistakes. Remember, moments of indulgence will result in years of repayment and sacrifice.
Think About Returns
While no one wants to think about taking back holiday items, it is possible that you could make a few post-holiday returns to remedy your situation somewhat. While you can’t return gifts you gave out, you can consider returning items that you bought for yourself or your immediate family that you can’t afford. While it might not be fun to part with that new game system, it might help you learn to think before you buy in the future. Is it really worth paying 30% interest on something that you don’t need?
Now that the holidays are over it is time to start thinking about the future. Learn from your mistakes and pick the pieces if you did make mistakes. It is never too late to turn a new leaf and start making better financial choices.