El siguiente contenido está disponible sólo en inglés.
Christmas, Hanukkah and the holiday season have come and gone – likely taking quite a bit of your cash with them.
You can’t magically make more money appear in your bank account. And it’s definitely too late to ask Santa for a check. But here are three of the next best things you can do.
It’s not surprising if you spent more than you can afford over the past couple of months. After all, we often do this to make loved ones happy, says Richard K. Colarossi, a certified financial planner and partner at Colarossi & Williams in Islandia, New York.
But now it’s time to get back on budget. Cut back your regular spending in an attempt to save more money to free up funds for debt repayment and savings.
There are other things you can do, too. Consider minimal changes such as setting your thermostat a degree or two lower and cutting down on excessive online shopping.
For more substantial savings, bundle your cable and internet, cancel some music and streaming subscriptions or renegotiate the price of your utility bills.
Pay down high-interest debt as soon as possible, Colarossi advises. And, if you’re able, make it a point to fund your savings plan as much as you can, even if it’s a small amount.
You can also control spending by managing commitments over the next 12 months. If you’re already struggling after paying for gifts, try not to overload yourself with more financial obligations.
Allow some time to get your bearings before you take on new, out-of-the-ordinary expenses.
Give yourself positive reinforcement along the way. The first month might be the hardest, but it’ll get better. Goldsmith says cutting spending now will boost your confidence and make it easier to save in February, March and beyond.
“Compare your credit card bills from November, December and January and blow your own mind with how much less you spent,” she said.