Nothing is more depressing than starting the year off stressed out about how much you spent over the holidays.
But why stress at all?
Take charge, make a plan, and put it into action. Even if finances aren’t your strong suit, we’re here to help.
Enlisting support from Holler For Your Dollar’s Chantel Chapman, these five tips are sure to get you over your holiday headache:
Heal Your Money Pain
Spending doesn’t usually happen overnight. There’s a good chance your bad habits stem from a traumatizing past experience, so it’s important to identify these past negative financial decisions and contextualize it to your current relationship with money. Is there a connection? For example, if you grew up being told, “that’s too expensive,” you might have a tendency to blow your money as a way to gain long-craved freedom from being forced to see money as a negative boundary in the past.
Align your goals with your spending. If your goal is to do yoga more frequently but you’re unsure because of the cost, put things into perspective. Cut out unnecessary expenses. This is crucial. Ask yourself: What is the value of the happiness I get from doing yoga versus the value I get from the luxury lease that sits in the garage?
You would be surprised how many young professionals don’t do this. Not budgeting is basically like getting wasted (aka: reckless spending) and waking up with a few hundred bucks missing from your wallet and the faint taste of Jagger bombs (indulging in unnecessary vices) in your mouth – only this is what it feels like every single day.
At the beginning of every month, take yourself on a budgeting date to a coffee shop. Calculate the numbers yourself and write them down on paper. The little old ladies who write down all their transactions are on to something. When you do this, you become more mindful and connected to your money plan.
Warning: If you’re an indulger, avoid the “suffer and reward” strategy. Holding out on buying clothes for an entire month will likely result in a giant splurge that makes your attempts futile. Instead, start with eliminating one small purchase a month.
30 Days of Credit Card Rehab
Unless you pay your credit card off in full every month, it’s time to admit yourself to credit card rehab. As a credit card addict, you may not see how wrong it is to casually buy items you can’t afford. Next time you make a purchase on a credit card, ask yourself: “Would I feel embarrassed to ask a friend to borrow money for this?” If yes, put that little piece of plastic back in your wallet and save your debt for purchasing smart assets.
Pay Your Small Debts First
Teresa Amabile from the Harvard Business Review said, “Acknowledging small victories motivates employees.” This is also true for paying out debt – acknowledge your small victories, and the dopamine will motivate you to continue.