January Financial Hangover? Not Here.

by David Bakke

hangover2Most of us talk about a January financial hangover like it is some sort of scheduled occurrence. It is the month following the holiday season, and we all probably did our fair share of overspending. “Tis the season to be jolly”, right?

Well, that is true, but there is no reason for that to have an effect on your finances.
I wanted to take a quick look back at how my December, and my January, went financially.

In December, I honestly did not do very much shopping, and I did all of it online. Almost without exception, I was able to find better deals on all the gifts I purchased online rather than in the traditional retail outlets (with free shipping). Therefore, I avoided the hassle of going to the stores.

I did not have to do very much shopping to begin with because I did a good bit of it throughout the year. A few quick examples. Unless your spouse is easy to buy for (and whose is), I have found it very useful to listen to every little hint that they give throughout the year. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself on December 24 running around ten different stores with no idea what to buy. Listen throughout the year, and act on those hints. And act on them during the year. Lots of stores have Christmas in July specials, and you know stores have sales all the time. Pick up on a good hint, wait till you find the best price, and get it done early.

Next, children. I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that the sum and substance of their gifts are clothes and toys. Well, why do you need to wait till December to pick these out? Again, find a good sale, and pick up an item or so every few months during the year. Your monthly expenses will barely be affected this way.
In the past, I always felt awful about all the over spending I did in December. I’d buy an extra round of drinks for the boys; I’d buy extra gifts for people, etc. All trying to be in the holiday spirit. I felt bad about it, but I still did it. Guess what? Without the massive outpouring of money for gifts in December, I can now feel much better about these little lapses in financial discretion.

Bottom line, my credit card bills were all of about $200 higher than a normal month. Yes, a measly $200. This is down from sometimes over $1000 in Decembers past.

Adopt a little of this mindset, adopt all of it. You might find your Decembers much more enjoyable, and your Januarys much less burdensome.

Comments? Suggestions? Share with my readers below.


1 Top Finance Articles February 8, 2010 at 5:07 am

Its all about planning and effective execution of the plan. Adopting a well – planned strategy is something I agree to like the one mentioned in this article.

2 David/Yourfinances101 February 8, 2010 at 11:38 am

I couldn’t agree more–thanks for stopping by.
.-= David/Yourfinances101´s last blog ..January Financial Hangover? Not Here. =-.

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