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3 ways to get your budget back on track after the holidays

3 ways to get your budget back on track after the holidays

Posted on: January 06, 2015
Author: Staff

After the highs of holiday spending, comes the inevitable low of January bills. This is the time of year many Albertans find themselves in debt and struggling to get their budget back on track.

Feeling overwhelmed? Here are three ways you can start 2015 on solid financial footing:

  1. Take advantage of web tools to build an easy-to-follow budget.

    Gone are the days when you have to reconcile your receipts and fill out a spreadsheet to manage your budget. ATB TrackIt™ is a great tool within ATB Online banking that tracks your spending (and saving) allowing you to create (and ideally keep) a budget. It's easy, and it's free for ATB customers.

  2. Review your monthly bills to find ways to save.

    January is a great time to review how much you're paying for utilities, cell phones, internet, and other monthly expenses. Schedule a time to call your service providers to see if they can offer you a better rate or bundle to save cash. Even if it's only a few dollars, the savings will add up.

  3. Transfer your credit card balance to a low-rate card.

    If you've racked up your credit card and think it may take you a few months (or more) to pay it off, you could save hundreds in interest by moving that balance to a low-rate credit card. If you use a Balance Account Transfer to move that debt over, you could pay 0 per cent interest for three months. That's a lot better than the 17–20 per cent interest rates many cards charge you.

By following these three steps, you should see your financial situation improving in a month or two. To keep up with the great progress, don't forget this important step:

  • Set-up some automatic savings to cover unexpected expenses.

    Unexpected expenses—like repairs after a snowstorm fender bender—can derail your budget. By putting some money away each month, even just a small amount, you can better manage those costs without dipping further into debt. It may take a while to build a decent emergency fund, but regular automatic contributions will make the process easier.

Other articles you may be interested in:

How to build a budget using TrackIt
The dos and don'ts of credit card balance transfers
How to stay on track with your debt repayments
 
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