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Avoiding the New Year Financial Hangover

BigPartyMess-150When you’re broke, January can be a crappy time of year. This is when you sober up from both the parties and the December shopping haze. You’re counting the days until when you will cringe and reluctantly open your credit card statements. Not only will see you see all of the gifts you overspent on, but the “gifts” to you from Santa as well. Guess what? You forgot to mention to your irrationally exuberant shopping-happy self that Santa doesn’t pay for any of them… you do.

You’re mentally calculating (and underestimating) how many paychecks it will take to cover these purchases… ignoring the fact you already carry a hefty balance on the card.

January is also the time you force yourself to think back to your resolutions… to get your money in order, to stop spending like you’re in a coma, to be more responsible… behaving financially like an adult. You wonder if life will be as much fun, because all you think about is the deprivation that comes with being disciplined with your money. On the other hand, you wonder how much more you can take of being broke, breaking out in sweat, the emotional ups-and-downs and wondering when the bottom will fall out because you’re one paycheck away from being in trouble.

You are not alone.

Too many are living in a state of financial feast (on pay day) and famine (almost every other day). Every year, the results are in: overwhelmingly three out of four people say that money is their #1 stressor… worried about bills, making ends meet, and saving for the future. Ever wonder what is life like for that fourth person who isn’t stressed about money?

I used to be among the majority, and thought I always would be… but I’m not anymore. I can tell you that when you have money left over after paying the bills, savings in the bank, and when your spending is not tied to the “gotta get it!” syndrome, your night sweats disappear. No more panic attacks. Fewer grey hairs (although I think that last one is already too late for me!).

How does a person avoid the new year financial hangover? Here’s how I did it… By having a clear system to manage my net income; by knowing what’s coming in and what’s going out; by redirecting my money to what I deemed important TO ME (and not what “they” say is important… whoever “they” are).

Many broke folks think that when you manage your money in a disciplined way, you enjoy life less and you are deprived. Not so! You just waste less, making more of your money count for the things that matter — which make for a richer bank account and a richer life.

When it comes to getting more out of your money through an effective management system, it’s not about deprivation; it’s about redirection.

When you have the right money system, it’s not hard or painful… it’s easy and liberating. You don’t have LESS fun, you have MORE fun because you know you can afford it!

Ready to find out what it’s like on the other side, where you feel good about your money? Get in touch with me.

So, what are you waiting for? Are you waiting for your 2014 January Financial Hangover, with more panic attacks and night sweats for the next 12 months, or will you take action today to change the rest of your life?

 

2 Comments
  1. Wonderful post, Marla.
    having been out of work 6 months before Christmas arrived, i thought this year’s festivities would be stolen by the grinch, but that did not happen.
    i decided to only purchase gifts for kids (i was lucky, i only had to shop for 3 gifts for 3 kids and i made sure each was not more than 20 bucks).
    as per adults, i decided not to clutter their house with items i thought they would love, instead i suggested we go out for an inexpensive lunch or dinner and give each other the gift of each others undivided attention. and that, you cant get on sale or in an outlet store. Bonus: gift receipt not required as i guarantee you they will not be exchanging your attention for anything under the sun.

    i have to admit, if it wasn’t for you mentoring me on the importance of tracking your expenses, i would have probably overspend by a lot this holiday season, but instead i decided to be creative and guess what, none of my friends were offended by my frugal festivus. some were actually relieved as they had no gift under their tree for me due to their own budgeting restrains. They didnt feel like i didnt matter to them, because they were very happy to see me regardless of whether or not i came with bags and boxes with pretty bows on them or without.

    i’ve enjoyed not loosing my mind on what to get and for whom and are they going to like it or regift it or throw it out. it was so simple and peaceful, all i had to do is agree with a friend of which restaurant we’re going to hit for our lunch (most of them ended up being a sushi buffet for less than 20 bucks per head included tax and gratuity. despite all the limitations this year, my Christmas was priceless!!!

    • That’s Awesome to hear, Anna! I agree, most adults prefer receiving a person’s time and undivided attention to a knick-knack. My young niblings love opening presents too, so I give them a small gift, and contribute a few dollars to their college fund (which I know will mean more to them later on).

      It’s amazing how much awareness a person can get through tracking their spending and creating a monthly spending plan. For myself, I was able to revise my holiday spending down a few years ago because I added up how much I planned to spend, then realized I forgot some folks… and it doubled my budget! I was able to course-correct before I started shopping, and had a financially satisfying Xmas.

      Another trick I use is I have a savings account dedicated to gifts and the holidays. I have automatic transfers every month and, no matter the time of year, I always have funds to purchase birthday and holiday gifts (which are predictable) or condolence flowers (the unpredictable).

      Keep it up, Anna! Please keep sharing your wins. :)

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