January is here… which means the credit card bills full of holiday spending are also here. At this point, you are probably feeling the nauseating effect of your financial hangover!  But what shall you do about it?

I’m a big believer that mistakes are actually GOOD for us, as long as we learn from them.

So you overspent … now let’s try to see what you can learn from it and how you can CHANGE things during the next holiday season.

Here are 3 tips to help you learn from this year’s hangover:

1–    Analyze WHY you overspent

Look back at ALL your bills and see where you went wrong: did you underestimate the number of people you had to gift to? perhaps you forgot about the school teachers, the cleaning lady, the mailman or the piano teacher ?

Did you forget to account for all the wine bottles, or the postage to mail your gifts?

Did you underestimate the charity donations you made?

Or maybe you underestimated how much to spend per person? Did you take into account the sales taxes when determining the amount to spend for each person (that’s 15% right there!) ?

It’s important to take a very close look at where your money went in order to determine where you missed the mark.

2-    Adjust your 2017 budget

So now that you looked at how you spent your money, you need to determine a reasonable amount that will be easy  to stick to in Dec 2017. Are you going to have the same amount of gifts as this year? or more?

3-    Start saving TODAY

Do not delay saving for the holidays until November, because it will be too late.

Let’s say you determine your Dec 2017 holiday budget to be $600.

If you divide that amount by 12 months, it means you have to put aside $50 each month. Open a savings account TODAY just for holiday spending, and set up an automatic monthly transfer of $50.

It is simple, pain-free and you will be able to pay cash for all your spending during the next holiday season.

So what shall you do about this month’s bill ?

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to make it disappear. You have to work at it, slowly but SURELY. With discipline and focus, it can be done.