Goodbye Christmas Hello Check-to-Check Living: Surviving the after-holiday Financial Slump
Now that the holidays are over, most people are in what is called the “post-holiday slump.” You probably spent more than you could afford and now, instead of starting the year on a high, you’re starting with very high credit card bills.
Of course, the slump never lasts more than two or three months at most. But, how do you get through it? How do you ensure that you can still pay your bills and have a nice time?
- Step #1: Accept the situation
One of the reasons you might stay in the slump longer than necessary is because you’ve refused to accept that you’re in one. You need to take that first step and accept your situation. Accept that you bit more than you can chew, and are now facing the consequences. Accepting means that you should now begin to go slow on anything you have left, knowing that it will have to last you longer than first anticipated. If all you have is $1,000, you’ll have to find a way to ensure that it lasts you until the next paycheck.
- Step #2: Create a plan for the next few weeks
Lack of planning is what got you in the situation in the first place. To get out of it, you’ll need to go back and correct what you did wrong by spending only on what you need until you’re back on your feet. There can be no lavish spending during a financial slump. So, take a pen and paper, and write down everything you need for the week, and for the month, keeping in mind the amount you have as you do this. Things like getting a new 55inch flat-screen TV should not even come near the list. Instead, focus on school fees, rent, groceries, and utility bills.
- Step #3: Do not borrow!
During these hard times, it isn’t uncommon to be tempted to borrow. The feeling is usually that you can repay whatever amount you borrow at the end of the month. Do not fall into this trap. Borrowing, while acceptable, only adds salt to injury and could easily leave you in a vicious circle for a long time. The only way to get out of your financial situation is to make do with what you have and keep the big and non-urgent needs waiting until you regain your financial stability. If at all you need to borrow, get a personal finance loan from a lender such as kingofkash.com where the terms are very friendly.
- Step 4: Be a high achiever elsewhere
Just like with goals, whenever you fail to hit your targets in one area, you’ll always feel much better if you can hit the targets of a different area. In this case, since you might not be feeling so nice about your holiday spending and the consequences you’ve had to face, you can minimize the frustrations by getting some exercise and doing really well there. The discipline and positive thinking will help you realize greater value in your life.
Finally, and most importantly, having learned your lesson, be sure to plan better, so you don’t go through the same experience next year.