The holidays is the season of gift-giving and celebrating with family and friends. Unfortunately, for many of us, it is also the season of reckless spending.
It is during the holidays that strict budgeting needs to be implemented. However, there are some expenses that we just cannot avoid. In our case, for instance, it has been tradition for our relatives to go to our house for their pamasko. We give the same amount to each person every year, but more and more are added to the family every year as well, which leads to extra money coming out of our pockets.
These unplanned expenses can be frustrating, I know. I am very OC about budgeting, which is why extra expenses drive me crazy! The important thing, though, is to be able to have a contingency plan when this happens.
Here are 5 budget tips after the holidays that you can try:
- Start recording your cash flow. You can make use of apps like Moneybook to record all your income and expenses. If you don’t want to buy an app, you can just use a calendar or a notebook to record your cash flow. Include all the money you received during the holidays (salary, bonuses, cash gifts, etc.) and all the payments you need to make. This way, you will have an idea of what you need to pay for and prepare the money needed.
- Trim your expenses. Once you have seen your cash flow, start taking out unnecessary expenses. Instead of eating out, cook your meals at home. Instead of watching a movie, rent CDs and have a movie night with your family at home.
- Try increasing your income. If you have any way to increase your family’s income, do so! Aside from Daddy A’s job as a firefighter, he also works online with me.
- Save, save, save! It is very important to put away a certain amount for your savings. This month, Daddy A and I pledged to double the amount that goes to our automatic savings accounts. Automatic savings are great if you want one less thing to think about.
- Create a monthly goal. Having a goal in mind will keep you on track of your finances. Review your cash flow and do some revisions if your strategies are not working. If you reach your goal, reward yourself too to keep you motivated.
Budgeting is not about self-deprivation, but about responsible spending. Bounce back from holiday expenses through wise spending and saving!