Post-Christmas Financial Recovery Tips
According to a recent research poll by accountancy firm, Deloitte, British adults spend an average of £567 on Christmas – this figure includes gifts, food, socialising, alcohol etc. If you’ve got children or a bigger family, this figure increases somewhat. If you haven’t budgeted for this kind of outlay, the shock to your finances can be really quite severe.
If you have over-spent at Christmas, don’t worry – using our post-Christmas financial recovery tips, you can get yourself back on track quickly, without doing anything too drastic.
Post-Christmas Financial Recovery Tips
These tips are designed to help you out of a financial hole. It’s important to realise though, you have to accept responsibility and address your spending. If you continue to pursue reckless spending approaches, the problem won’t simply go away. You have to help it go away, so follow these tips and you’ll do just that.
Understand the size of the problem…
The first port of call is understand just how much money you’ve spent. Hopefully, the over-spend isn’t too drastic and the damage is easy to repair. Once you know how much you owe, then you can set about getting your finances back on an even keel. The head in the sand approach to personal finances never helps anyone, so accept the responsibility and get on with solving the problem!
Make your debts cheaper…
If you’ve taken out a credit card to pay for Christmas, look at the most amount of money per month you can repay. The more you can repay, the quicker the balance is gone and the lower the interest repayments will be. If you haven’t already, look to get your credit card onto an interest-free deal. There are lots of them around, so do some research and make your debts cheaper.
If you have a loan, ask if the bank will allow over-payment, which will cut down the length of time the loan is outstanding for. Making a debt with interest go away quicker will save significant amounts of money.
Raise some extra cash…
Post-Christmas is the perfect time to sell some unwanted items. Perhaps you have been given gifts you don’t want or need? Maybe you’ve been given gifts that can replace older versions of items you already own? Either way, there is plenty of room to sell off your unwanted goods. This can free up a significant amount of money if you’re lucky enough to have a few items hanging around!
Aside from the obvious outlets such as eBay, you could also use Facebook marketplace. Bear in mind though, that tends to be much more localised, so if you’re selling an item that may have appeal further away (there may not be much market for a surfboard in Birmingham, for example) you may be better off selling via more nationwide sides.
Cut back your spending…
Here’s a simple mathematical rule… if you spend more than you earn, you become poorer. Spend less than you earn, you become richer.
January is the perfect time to cut back on your spending. Most of us over-indulge during the Christmas period, so you have the perfect excuse to not go out drinking as much, to eat cheaper, healthier foods and to stay in rather than head out to places such as the cinema. If you can do this for a month or two, you can use the money you save to pay down/pay off your Christmas debt.
Of course the more you cut back, the quicker you can get your finances back on track.
Move savings across…
Some people take out a credit card or loan to pay for Christmas, then pay the debt back over the course of the year. In some cases they do this to protect their savings This can be a sensible thing, but bear this in mind – if the rate of interest on your debt is higher than the rate of interest you earn on your savings, it’s costing you more money than you are making.
If you have some savings, perhaps look at if it makes more sense to pay off (or even pay some off) your debt. That way you’ll be able to rebuild your savings quickly with your income.
Post-Christmas Financial Recovery Tips: Concluded
Money can be a scary thing to deal with if you don’t know much about it, so take a few steps to learn a bit about how to manage your finances and you’ll quickly realise that it’s not a complicated subject, you just need to make a few sensible decisions around when to spend, when to save and how to manage your cash.
If you’d like to read more from us on managing your money, take a look at this article on whether you should take a credit card or loan from our archives.