indicatorAlberta Lifestyle

6 tips to get your post-holiday budget back on track

17 December 2020 2 min read

Many of us tend to overspend during the holidays, but not realize it until well into the New Year when our credit card bills start to roll in and any returnable packages are long past opened. Here are some suggestions to get your budget back on track.

1. Hold off on the extras this month

Do what you can to stick to the basics and save treating yourself for next month. Limiting your discretionary spending allows you to put that money towards paying off your holiday bills. Remember, this spending plan is temporary and benefits your long-term financial wellness. We've created this budgeting worksheet to help you categorize your expenses and find potential opportunities to save. 

2. Take on an odd job or two

Is there something you can do with your skills to make a bit of extra cash this month? Perhaps take on a freelance or consulting project or sign up for extra shifts or overtime if you have the option. Maybe you've considered starting a small business from home? Even a couple hundred dollars will help you cover a trip to the grocery store, freeing up some extra money to pay down your bills.

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3. Identify your weak spots

Think about the types of things you impulse buy, and then stay away from the places that will tempt you. If you know you’ll want to buy something when you're online shopping, try to avoid visiting those sites. When shopping for necessities, try to be conscious of unnecessary purchases such as add-on items.  

4. Prioritize your debt

If you’re carrying credit card balances, pay off the cards with the higher interest rates first. For more information on how to tackle consumer debt, check out 'Prioritize to pay off consumer debt'. If you are currently feeling overwhelmed about debt, the best next-step is to speak to your banker. The sooner you contact your financial institution, the easier it will be to get the help and support you need.

5. Plan ahead

Try to start budgeting in February or March for the holidays. Sounds crazy we know, but putting aside a little bit of money every month will go a long way to helping you cover your December expenses. Saving early can help make the holiday season less stressful.

6. Start keeping track

Start keeping track of what you're spending your money on. Take a look at what you spent last year and use that information to plan ahead. If you overspent but can’t think of where you could have cut back, you’ll know you need to save that much more for this year. Tools like ATB TrackIt can help you track your spending with ease. 

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