Happy New Year! It’s a new year, a new decade, and holy sh*t!? Did any of you spend as much as we did this holiday season? How did that happen? No matter how much you plan to spend, it is always so easy to overspend when those holiday sales hit and you see the perfect thing for everyone on your list. And right beside the perfect thing for your college bestie was the coat you’d been eyeing, and it was 40% off.
So if you’ve overspent this holiday season, no matter the reason, here are five strategies to help you get back on track ASAP and plan for a financially kickass year.
1. Back Away from the Budget
We’re a freaking broken record at this point, but if you’re reading our content and you’re still budgeting, you haven’t been paying attention. STOP BUDGETING. Use our Reverse Budget™ method instead. Trust us.
Planning, goal setting, and automating your savings will change your life. So before you reflexively set up your 2020 budget and start trying to live like a monk for the next few months, please read about our Reverse Budget™ first.
One way to bridge the gap when you’ve overspent and want to pay off that extra credit card debt ASAP is to add an extra income stream. Ever considered a side hustle? Last year we compiled a list of the best side hustles for HENRYs™. Check them out! Get creative. And use that extra resolve of the new decade to bring in some extra cash.
Cold Weather Bonus: If you live in a colder climate and have a strong back, consider a seasonable side hustle: shoveling! And no, it’s not just for high school kids, especially if you are already dealing with your own snow removal and have a plow or blower.
People will pay good money to not deal with their own sidewalks in the winter, plus, you can save money on that gym membership you won’t need because you’re getting ripped from pushing snow around. If you live in a city, using platforms like TaskRabbit and Fivrr can be a great way to advertise your shoveling services. Or does your community or neighborhood have a message board or local Facebook group? Even better!
One of the most effective ways to cut back on spending is to spend more time at home. Take advantage of these long winter nights and embrace your best hermit life. From cooking at home more to hosting a game night, spending more time in your own space is proven to help people keep their spending in check. Just make sure you step away from the online shopping and delivery services.
Need a good distraction? This article has some of our favorite resources for leveling up your finances, from books to podcasts.
4. Talk about it.
Sometimes when you’re trying to save it means you have to cut back a bit on your lifestyle. This can seriously suck. What can suck even more is when the people around you don’t understand. So speak up. Be honest with your friends and family about your financial goals.
If you aren’t happy with your current role and compensation, the beginning of the year can be a great time to search for a new job.
We understand this piece of advice might be the hardest to put into action, but we stand by it. Talking about money can be really hard, especially with those you love and care about. It’s vulnerable to tell people that you can’t do something because you’re cutting back for a bit. But talking about your financial priorities can actually be great for your relationships, so we are encouraging you to open up and share your financial goals with those you trust. Plus, when you open up about your finances, you are giving others the chance to open up to you. It’s likely some of your friends and family are in the exact same financial boat and don’t know how to tell you about it.
5. Consider a Career Upgrade
Sometimes periods of overspending teach us that we just aren’t making enough money to keep up with our lifestyle. There are a few options if you’ve realized this: you can cut back on spending (hermit), add a new income stream (hustle), or level up your current income stream.
If you aren’t happy with your current role and compensation, the beginning of the year can be a great time to search for a new job. Q1 often means a hiring spree, as companies sprint to fill roles that will help them reach their goals as soon as possible. Take advantage! Brush up your resume and make sure your LinkedIn is up to date. The work you put into a job search now could pay off in a big way by next holiday season.
Finally, keep an eye out for an exciting announcement from Stash Wealth in the next few weeks! We’re about to make it easier than ever to get your financial sh*t together, so make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so you’ll be the first to know.