It is that time of year again, Holiday Shopping, where we start making our lists and checking them twice. We begin browsing through stores and the internet to find just the right gifts. Once all the holiday chaos has settled down, we are quite pleased with how amazing the holidays have been.
Then the 1st of the year comes and we realize that the rent is due, and we have overspent. Now what? Wyoming Housing Network is a non-profit organization committed to expanding affordable housing opportunities and offering education to help people with their finances and meet their housing needs. Here are some of our suggestions for getting back on track.
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The first thing to do is create a monthly budget based on cutting unnecessary items to see how much is left over to pay all the monthly bills. There are many budgeting tools available, from apps for the phone, to pen and paper systems. Find one that works for you and stick to it.
CUT EXPENSES TO PAY YOUR BILLS
Here are a couple of ideas for cutting unnecessary items from the budget to get back on track. Great places to cut expenses are in entertainment and eating out. Another way to reduce spending is to grocery shop from a list using the grocery store sale ads but try to avoid impulse buying on something that was not on the list or on sale. Sometimes we overspend because we shop for ourselves during the holiday. If you have already found gifts for yourself, you can return them and get the money back to pay your expenses for the upcoming month.
START SAVING FOR NEXT YEAR
One sure way to avoid the holiday spending hangover is to start planning for next year right away. Decide on a budget that you want to stick with, such as the amount you spent this year. Next figure out how much you would need to save every month to be able to save in time for the holiday shopping season. For example; If you would like to spend $1,000 and have 12 months to save, all you need to do is save $83.33 each month to achieve this goal (1000/12=83.333). If you are uncertain how much you will need it is usually easiest to figure out how many people you want to buy for and set yourself a realistic amount to spend on each person. Also, avoid shopping for yourself during the holidays.
If the holidays have given you a spending hangover, use the resource help below. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, contact Wyoming Housing Network and talk with one of our counselors. We offer rental, foreclosure prevention, reverse mortgage, and financial capabilities counseling. Visit us at www.whninc.org or call 307-472-5843.