Empty Wallet After the Holidays? Avoiding the Financial Blues

Forbes estimates Americans will spend more than $630 billion this holiday season.

How do you avoid the post-holiday financial blues?
People could have avoided spending that money all together.

But once the holiday money is spent, there are some ways to keep your finances in check.
Shelley Keller admits she went a little overboard this Christmas, spending more than $500 on presents for her kids.
She explains, “I wanted to this year because we didn’t get to last year.”
But it wasn’t enough to break the bank.
“We just kind of played it as we went along,” Keller says. “If we had the money we went and used it.”
Even if you maxed out your cards and drained your account, financial experts at Legacy Wealth Management say you can start fixing your finances right away.
“The damage is done.”. says Client Relationship Manager Sue Benedict. “Don’t have so much remorse about it, but maybe make some plans to change those kind of things next year.”
Financial Advisor Paul Meyers advice has little to do with actual finances.
“It is easy to get carried away,” Meyers adds. “Sometimes there’s almost a feeling of obligation, that you have to buy things at Christmas time. But let’s face it, what really counts is the time you spend with people, not the money.”
Shoppers here at West Acres Mall say a little bit of planning before busting out their credit card during the holidays saves them a whole lot of headache in the new year.
Keller explains, “My husband works a lot of overtime to make up for it so we can do that for our kids.”
Other shoppers already knew their financial limits this holiday season.
“Maybe $100,” says Mackenzie Bucklin of Grand Forks.
She brought holiday cheer to friends and family without going into debt.
“I knew I didn’t have a lot of money to spend on a lot of gifts so I gave love for Christmas instead.”
Because of her thrifty spending, her bank account loves her too.
She adds, “Yeah, sure, it does. It definitely looks better.”

Financial planners say the most important thing is to pay down any credit card debt you built up during the holidays.

They recommend enrolling in an auto-pay plan, because it’s easy to forget a payment and face late fees.

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