With Christmas over, are you facing the stress of overspending during the holiday period in the new year? Regardless of whether you spent too much on presents for friends and family or while in holiday mode, you may now need to go into financial damage control. Do not wait too long to deal with it as financial stress can cause havoc with your relationships, family and health. It can cause depression, anxiety, fear, sleepless nights and relationship breakdowns when you spend time fighting about money. People can even turn to alcohol and drugs to relieve the negative feelings they have about how much they spent over Christmas.
Before your money worries get any worse and your stress escalates, you need to take a good look at exactly where you stand financially. No sticking your head in the sand and ignoring it. When you know what you owe, you can work out a plan to pay off the debt.
Here are some tips to help you recover financially.
Assess the financial damage
According to news.com.au, the Reserve Bank of Australia data shows Australians racked up a massive $29.7 billion in debt in December 2018. And finder.com.au tipped Aussies spent $18.8 billion in the 2019 Christmas period. While this is almost $10 billion less than last year, this means you are not alone. But now you need a plan to pay off the debt and the quicker the better. The longer it hangs over your head, the more interest you will have to pay and the more stress it will cause you.
So instead of procrastinating, be proactive to get it paid to reduce the worry and stress this puts you under. This is not the way you want to go into a new decade—is it? Check out my ebook – The Truth about the Law of Attraction. It has a lot of useful information that will help you financially now and into the future. The best thing is that you can download it for free.
Sell unwanted gifts online
Everyone can receive a gift that ends up at the back of the cupboard. If you have a receipt, take it back to the store for a refund. But most gifts do not have receipts so sell them online. While you are at it, go through your cupboards and find everything you no longer have a use for and sell it all online. You never know but you could make enough money to pay off your whole Christmas debt or at least part of it.
It will take a little effort and make sure what you are selling is in good condition or, if it is not, be honest about its condition. Also price your second-hand goods appropriately or they will not sell and this will be frustrating.
Here are four online places that will help you reach a wider audience:
- Facebook. Facebook has a lot of buy, swap and sell pages and many target specific areas. Find one local to you and put up an ad. It also has a marketplace you can tap into. List your goods with a price and soon people will comment and be prepared to haggle over the price. And using Facebook is free.
- Gumtree. Gumtree has been around for a long time and is one of the most popular places to sell second-had items. It is free to list you used goods. You only pay for extras such as keeping your ad at the top of the page. Your ads will reach local areas which makes it easy to deliver or for people to pick up.
- eBay. eBay is another online marketplace that allows you to list second-hand goods for free by taking advantage of its 50 free listings a month. When you have more than that to sell, you will pay an upfront fee even if you do not sell. eBay also takes a commission based on what you sell the item for. The advantage of eBay there is a huge audience but when you sell you also need to work out the postage costs to charge the buyer.
- Trading Post. Trading Post used to be a weekly paper but now it is online. For most categories, the Trading Post allows unlimited listings for free. But ads for dogs and cats, and caravans and cars have a placement fee.
Reset your budget
When you get your credit card statement it is a stark reminder of how much of a good time you had over Christmas. Now you have to pay for it if you spent more than you can afford. A lot of people splurge on family and friends and parties and holidays at this time of year. Even when you start out with the best of intentions, the cost of festivities can creep up on you.
Reset your budget. Take small steps for it to work. Set a new budget for three months to start of the year and then review at the end of the quarter. This will help you stay focused. Track where you spend your money and cut out any nonessentials. The following are a great way to start:
- Forgo buying new clothes. Make do with what you already have or go op shop shopping. You can get some fantastic clothes for a fraction of their original price.
- Cut out takeaways. Make takeaway food at home. Chinese, Mexican, pizzas and burgers are all easy to make. Get the whole family involved.
- Cut out eating out. This will save you a lot of money. Have a romantic meal at home or a picnic with the family.
- Make your own entertainment. Instead of going to the movies take a trip to the beach or take the kids to a local park. Go to the free events held by different organisations and councils. These can range from children’s events and art exhibits to music performances.
- Instead of a daily cappuccino, make your own at home. Ths can save you up to $30 plus a week.
- Make lunches for everyone in the family instead of the kids going to the canteen and you grabbing something to eat at a café.
- Give up one habit. For example, if you enjoy a glass of wine every night go without until you pay off your Christmas debt.
- Pre plan your weekly meals. This way you know exactly what you need to feed you and your family when you go shopping.
- Write a shopping list for what you need and stick to it. It is those other things you pick up when shopping that can help you blow the budget.
- Set a weekly budget for household groceries and take out the cash to cover it instead of using your card. When using your card it is easy to spend more than you intend to.
- Check the price of fuel online before refuelling the car. This way you can choose the cheapest petrol price in your local area before you fuel up.
- Shop around to get better deals. Car, house and health insurance, power, telephone and gas are all things companies offer deals on to get your business. These days being loyal to one company can cost you more than it should. So shop around for the best deals and keep the money in your own pocket.
Keep checking your budget regularly and adjust it if you have spent more money than you anticipated on expenses. By tweaking how you spend your money you can soon pay down your debt. And before you know it, your Christmas debt will be a distant memory. Your financial stress will be in the past and you will feel good about your achievement.
Now you can focus on building wealth for you and your family. I designed my Prosperity and Abundance Program to kickstart an abundant mindset. It creates an emotional reality of self-worth and prosperity thinking so you can leave financial stress in the past. Check it out.
Getting out of debt is stressful and difficult when you do not know how. When you are not coping, contact us to find out how we can help get your life back on track. But, if you or the person you are caring for is at crisis point, call us immediately. We can help you quickly deal with things better. We can work with you in our Spas, over the phone or via Skype. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program or Prosperity and Abundance Program. I have an introductory offer for just $79 so you can start taking back control of your life. We can support and help you cope with financial stress so you can get out of debt and look forward to the future filled with happiness and joy. Invest in yourself today.
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