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How to Mitigate Christmas Hangover

By: Michael Millington

Christmas time is generally a magical time of the year where people throw caution to the wind and spend money to decorate, buy gifts or prepare a feast. While the festivities are going on people tend to live in the moment and don’t consider the aftermath. Christmas hangovers are real situations that impact thousands. One of the worst feelings is to have a sense of emptiness and confusion after pulling off a great holiday season. Starting the new year with debt is not desirable at all, but how can you lessen or even eliminate the effects of the Christmas hangover?


Be Honest About Your Finances

Just because it’s December doesn’t mean that you make any more money than any other month. In some cases you might earn a bonus or (on the off chance) you might earn three checks within the month. However, your financial obligations won’t change because of it. You should always handle the important monthly bills first and foremost (things like rent, utilities, food and the like…). After those are out of the way, begin to tackle whatever debt you’ve built over the holidays. Don’t overextend yourself and you’ll find your debts are easily handled.


Create a Budget, Avoid Peer Pressure

The best way to not spend extra money is to have a plan and stick to it. Know exactly what you need, how much you have to spend, and what can be substituted if need be. Walking into a store with a certain amount of money might strike some as being limited, but it can also be an empowering feeling knowing how much you will spend without going overboard. Proper planning and a strong will is all it takes to have financial stability in the most financially unstable time of the year.


Avoid New Lines of Credit

You want that thing. You don’t have the money for that thing, but you really want that thing. One ploy that some stores will use against you is to encourage you to sign up for their store card. With this new line of credit you’ll be able to purchase that thing and whatever other things you desire. However, store cards only add to your list of debts if you have them. They’re easy to forget to pay off, oftentimes they’re not as convenient as thy seem and they can have high interest rates (higher than the ones your current cards may have!)


The holidays can be an exciting time. Making the season a wonderful experience for yourself and/or others can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor. Just remember that after December is January, and so too is there an after Christmas. Plan ahead, stay strong and watch your money. Do these things and you’ll get the jump on debt before debt gets the jump on you.