Money Management

Recovering From Holiday Personal Finance Mistakes

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.

Comments (13)

  • I am very proud that I stick to my budget this year, except for one gift that was worth it! I love giving and I can afford that extra $50 on my budget. I will try to follow the same plan next year.

    Reply
    • No reason not to splurge on a great gift if you can afford it.

      Reply
  • Businesses evaluate performance all the time. It is good to take a look at your personal performance to evaluate where you did well as well as where you went astray. Good idea!

    Reply
  • I came up with a plan to eliminate my credit card debt, and if things go well, I can get rid of it in 10 months. Looking for a more aggressive way to get it paid off in half the time.

    Reply
    • That’s great!

      Reply
  • I think I did alright for the holidays. I budgeted $50/person, but ended up closer to $60 with tax. I think next year, I’ll plan ahead, so I don’t shop at the last minute again — that way, I can take advantage of the sales a bit more.

    Oh, and I’ll put some money aside for boxing day… couldn’t resist buying a new tv, but its been on the radar for a looooong time now.

    Reply
    • yea, shopping throughout the year can help the budget

      Reply
  • When creating a debt elimination plan, do you find in your experience that paying off the smallest debt balance first is helpful?

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    • For me, paying down the smallest balance first works. As a disclaimer I will say that everyone’s different and if it’s not working for you, try something different.

      Reply
      • Gotcha. I am lucky enough to be debt free through the grace of some generous college scholarships, but was just curious if anyone had been employing the methods of debt snowballing. I just recently learned about the ins and outs of that.

        Reply
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  • Recovering From Holiday Personal Finance Mistakes…

    The holidays are over. Did you stick to your personal finance goals?…

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  • “Remember, moments of indulgence will result in years of repayment and sacrifice.” love that line. That pretty much sums it up. I know most of us are willing to use that credit card and the years of suffering for that joy that it brings us for how ever long that items life is.

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