INSIDE: Recover from the Holiday Season Financially

How to Recover from the Holiday Season Financially

By Rohit Iyer, National Vice-President of Finance

 

We’ve all had that same feeling before: after giving gifts to family and friends, you experience a sense of elation that lasts for a long time. At least, you think it does. Often, we lose this feeling as soon as we open our wallets and realize that we just impulsively spent all our savings on gifts!

Although this is an exaggeration (I certainly hope you didn’t spend all your savings on gifts!), the holiday season can take a financial toll on all consumers, especially teenagers. However, there are clear ways that you can budget and save your money and make a quick rebound to get your bank account back in shape!

Budgeting can be a complex process, but I always like to think of it as separating my needs and wants. For example, I need to buy groceries every month, and I want to grab coffee from Starbucks every time I drive past one. All of us can make a list of what we really need, and after you do that, you should make an estimate of how much you spend on this each month. This should be your budget, and if you do it right, your total expenses will be less than what you make each month.

Another important tip is to be a smart shopper! When shopping, search for sales, look for coupons, and seek the best balance of good quality and low cost. Instead of shopping for gifts, consider creating handmade gifts!  Pinterest is a great website for ideas. Gifts should be from the heart, and handmade gifts and acts of kindness can show someone how much they mean to you.

So what should you do with the rest of your surplus? The answer is clear: save it! Saving money can be very rewarding, but it is also difficult. It’s hard to tell your friends that you won’t be able to go out with them because you’re trying to cut down on how much you’re spending, but just doing this half the time will keep your money where you really need it after the holiday season.  Another alternative is hanging out at someone’s house, where you won’t have to spend money! Be creative with your social life. Here are a few fun ideas:

  • Homemade pizza party
  • Board game night
  • Movie marathon

The possibilities are endless!

If you can make these changes in your lifestyle now, you won’t be recovering financially from the holiday season next year; you’ll be planning for it!

By Rohit Iyer, National Vice-President of Finance

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