Monday, February 15, 2016

Getting Back on Track After Holiday Spending

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With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, many things can get away from you - especially your spending. Everyone wants to be generous with their gift-giving, but this can really put a dent in your savings. If you have found yourself in this situation, we have a few simple tips to dig yourself out of the holiday hole and get your finances back on track.  
Reevaluate Your Finances
The best place to start is by reevaluating your finances.Take a look and categorize the things you bought during the holidays. This includes gifts, food, travel, decor items, and any other added expenses. Be sure to look at where the money came from, either savings, checking or credit cards. Take a look at your monthly income and compare that to your spending. Doing this will allow you to see how much money you can put towards paying off your debt. By reacquainting yourself with your accounts, you will have a better idea of how much debt you have and you will be able to give yourself an accurate timeframe on paying it all back.

Cut Costs Where You Can
This may sound obvious, but it really is the best way to save money. Since you have already evaluated your finances, you should have a pretty good understanding of where you are spending your money. Even cutting back on small things can really help. For example, make your own coffee rather than buying it, pack a lunch rather than going out, or rent a movie rather than going to the theater. All of these little things can add up to big savings which you can use to pay off your debt or to rebuild your savings account.

Create a Payment Plan
If you want to get out of debt quickly, you’ll need a plan. According to Ann Walter of the Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS), it should ideally take you no more than three months, however, each person is different. There are a variety of ways to help figure out how much to pay off each month. First, try our financial calculator to help you come up with a plan. You can also contact a consultant for help. Financial One CU has a skilled staff that can help you come up with the perfect payment plan to help get you out of the holiday hole.

If you are finding it hard to stay within your budget, try to use cash instead of a card. This will give you a tangible way to stay on budget; once the cash is gone, you can't spend any more.
If you are serious about getting out of the holiday hole, we recommend asking a professional. Our representatives can answer all of your questions and help you find a payment plan that works best with your budget. Although it may seem hard to save after spending so much on the holidays, we can help guide you through the process and start your 2016 off on the right foot.

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