Resetting Your Budget after the Holidays
Now that your holiday spending is winding down, does it feel like you’ve overspent once again? If so, this is a perfect time to get back on track and even prepare for a more affordable season next year. Let’s get started!
Create or Update Your Budget
If you’re new to budgeting, start with this free interactive online tool. A budget helps you evaluate expenses and get a better picture of those that are fixed (you must pay a certain amount regularly, such as rent, car payment or insurance) and those that are flexible (you have some control over how much to spend, such as groceries, hobbies or gifts). The goal is to spend less money than you bring in, so ultimately you can build your savings and emergency funds while paying down debt.
Starting a Holiday Fund
Imagine when the holidays roll around next year and you’re financially prepared! Many financial institutions, including credit unions, offer special holiday savings accounts so you can put away a little every month. Most won’t allow you to touch the funds until the holiday season begins, usually in November, so you’re not tempted to use those funds for something else.
Increase Your Income
Side hustling is a way of life for many people, and you’d be surprised how easy it is to bring some extra cash when you get creative. Getting a part-time job is also an option. Don’t think of these options as more work—think of them as opportunities to learn, meet new people and even find a more satisfying career on top of that extra income. Find income generating ideas here, and check out sites such as Indeed for part time jobs.
Use Plastic Wisely
Credit and debit cards can make it easy to overspend if you’re not watching your budget carefully. In fact, several studies have found that people tend to spend more when they use plastic than when they use cash. If carrying cash or writing paper checks isn’t an option, try using your debit card’s account alerts so you’re automatically notified when your account balance hits a certain point. You’ll avoid overdraft fees, plus get the added security of being alerted every time your debit card is being used.
If you’re a Greater Nevada Credit Union member and want more information about budgeting, saving or setting up account alerts, visit gncu.org or your local branch, or call (800) 421-6674.