Dealing With Those January Credit Card Blues and Continuing On a Journey of Financial Wellness
So far, we’ve started talking about the concept of mindset around money – a powerful tool that can do so many amazing things for you. We’re going to pause for a moment to talk about something that so many of us deal with during this time of year – the January credit card blues.
They’re so real and they suck so much! But just because you’re in that position now doesn’t mean you have to continue to be. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, the key is that you have to keep taking steps towards it.
Here are some tips and tricks to get back on track from the overindulgence of holiday spending.
Set/Reset that GPS
Knowing your parameters puts you in control. This idea not only puts you in the driver’s seat, but it takes the blindfold off by taking the unknown and making it known. We can only get to where we want to be when we can see where we’re going. So, your budget is basically your GPS.
Getting Back on Track
When you’re working on your budget make sure that part of it is an allocation of funds towards paying down your debt. To do this, take the amount that you owe (including some allowance for interest expense) from the extra spending and divide it by the number of months that you’re committing to paying it off. If you have debt from multiple sources, consider the idea of paying off the account with the highest interest rate charge first – for example, there’s no sense in paying off a Line of Credit with an interest rate of 7% when you have credit card balance with an interest rate of 29%. Being effective with a dollar isn’t just about our spending, but in how we save and pay off debt too!
Break the cycle
When you look back, have you ever found that the holidays can be a vicious cycle? You work to pay down the debt all year just to get back into it again! Being in control of your numbers and aware of your financial comfort zone can help you make sure that you’re proactive, so you don’t have this again next year. You can also save in advance for the next holiday season. For example, if your overall budget is $600 then put aside $50/month. This will break the cycle; the sun will shine and the birds will sing. I love this kind of thing, it’s so beautiful!
Change it up
If you’ve worked with a budget and found that you continue to get in the same position, then it might be time to switch things up. Maybe start (or restart) tracking your expenses and keeping track of the “ins and outs” of your bank account. Knowing where your money is going is powerful and fabulous - an awesome combo! As we start to change things, a helpful strategy can be managing expectations. Things aren’t likely going to be the same because to have that change they can’t be! Sometimes that means adjusting to reach the goal that you set of paying off the debt. Adjustments to your past routine can be uncomfortable if you focus on them – so let’s commit to changing your focus to your goal instead.
Tips/Ideas for success:
Track your progress – use tools like an app or a spreadsheet to see what’s happening
Stay as consistent as possible – there are always surprises along the way like little bumps or mini detours but don’t let it get you too off course
Celebrate your wins – don’t forget to give yourself kudos and credit along the way. You deserve it! Writing this down can help you stay the course when you feel you’ve gotten off track too!