Dealing with a financial hangover after Christmas
It may not just be one too many Baileys making your head hurt after the festive season, you may be experiencing a financial hangover.
In the run up to Christmas, when we asked people how much they were planning to spend, over half (51%) said they thought they’d need to splash out at least £300 to make the festive season special, with over a quarter (26%) saying they’d need a minimum splurge of £500.
We also found, cost-of-living crisis or not, 59% weren’t prepared to cutback on presents for the kids and 52% weren’t prepared to scrimp on food and drink for the big day.
But now the presents have been opened and the turkey eaten, if you’ve overspent, it’s possible you may be starting to suffer the beginnings of a financial hangover.
Overspending can leave you feeling anxious and stressed, especially once those credit card bills start rolling in.
Just like with an alcohol hangover, we start experiencing some of the consequences of over-indulging.
But you’re not going to cure a financial hangover with a full English. So what can you do?
Make a budget
There’s no point burying your head in the sand. If you’ve overspent, you need to assess the full extent of the problem before you can deal with it.
Making a budget will show you all the money you have coming in and where it’s going.
It will help you prioritise your spending and identify where you could make savings.
Or, if you prefer, we can do it together over the phone. Call us on 0161 518 8282. We’re here Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm and over the weekend between 10am and 4pm.
Now you’ve got a record of the money you have coming in and what you’re spending it on, it’ll be easier to identify areas where you could make cutbacks.
Are you using all the streaming services you’re paying for? What about that gym membership? Or that magazine subscription?
If there are services you’re paying for that you no longer use, cancel them.
Then, it’s a good idea to consider if you might be able to get a better deal for some services. Could you get a cheaper mobile phone contract? Are you paying too much for broadband? Shop around and see what savings you can make.
Once you’ve streamlined your spending, you can turn your attention to the money you have coming in.
Boost your income
Now you’ve identified where you can make cutbacks, it’s time to think about whether you can boost your income.
A good place to start is checking you’re claiming all the benefits you’re entitled to. You can use our free benefits calculator to do this.
If you’re struggling to make ends meet, it might also be worth finding out if you’re eligible to apply for any grants. This is money offered by charitable organisations that you don’t have to pay back.
Grants are available to people in all sorts of situations. Find out if there are any grants available to you.
You might also want to consider if you could start a side hustle to make a bit more money. Could you pick up some freelance work? Have you got clothes or other items you could sell on online sites like eBay or Vinted? Are you creative? Could you sell your work on a site like Etsy?
Get debt advice
If you’ve made as many cutbacks as possible and considered ways of boosting your income, and the numbers still don’t add up, it’s probably time to get debt advice.
There are a range of debt solutions available to people who can’t afford to pay back what they owe. These solutions can reduce your monthly payments and even write off some of your debt.
Find out if there might be a suitable debt solution for you by answering some questions about your situation.
Our advice is free and impartial. If you’re interested in a debt solution, some are free and for others there’s a fee.
We’ll make sure you have all the information you need about any suitable solutions and then you can think about what you want to do next. If you want to go ahead with a debt solution, we can help set it up.
You don’t have to manage money worries on your own, there’s lots of advice and support available.
A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.
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