A spending hangover, we’ve all been there!
Ah, money. I don’t think there’s one person out there who doesn’t have a love/hate relationship with it. And I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t gone into the new year thinking ‘oh, buggers. I’ve completely overspent!’
No matter how hard you try to be sensible, there’ll be at least one or two times in your life where you’ll have a spending hangover. It more commonly happens around Christmas. For me, January is always the month where I feel money is just flying out of the window. Not only has Christmas and New Years just happened, but I have got five close relative birthdays in the month. And they’re not birthday’s I can ignore (you can’t not get your dad, grandma or husband a bday present!)
Getting financially back on track is at the forefront of my mind right now and I have a feeling if you’re reading this post, it might be for you too. Well darlings, we’ve got this! Here are a few hints and tips to get back to responsible spending and saving and gaining a little peace of mind this January…
How to recover from overspending…
ASSESS THE DAMAGE.
First off, do not kick yourself that this happened. You already accepted responsibility just by trying to figure out how to resolve it. Now assess the situation. Where has it all gone wrong? Is it one too many meals out? Or those cheeky sale purchases you got on Boxing Day? Find out where the problem area is. Once you know the source of the issue, it’s easy to correct and get that weight lifted off your shoulders and bank account.
If it’s one too many meals out, then you need to look at your calendar for the month and maybe cut back on some non-essential nights out (good friends will understand). If it’s shopping then have a good long look at the purchases you’ve made and ask yourself if you really want/need them. Should your answer be no, return them immediately. You’ll feel great when you get a mini payday halfway through the month.
CREATE YOURSELF A BUDGET.
Spend an evening sat in front of your laptop and look at all your outgoings for the rest of the month. Put everything down in either a word document or a spreadsheet. Your outgoings, income, everything. Once you see where your money is going, you’ll have a clear path planned out for you for the rest of the month. I would always recommend doing some form of budgeting before the beginning of the next month. My spreadsheet has all my bills, rent, everything on it so I know from the first exactly how much money I have left over. A little bit of forwarding planning allows you to recover from overspending so much quicker. It also means you’re not dragging this burden around for months before you feel better about the situation.
An obvious one, but you’ll be amazed how much avoiding eating out will help your spending hangover. I’m guilty of the takeaway coffee, however with recently been gifted with the Nespresso Milk Frother, I’m now strictly a make at home coffee lover. I have my Starbuck takeaway cup and a couple of mins in the morning and I’m good to go. I’m saving about £15 a week which is £60 a month. A huge saving in my eyes.
And whilst the January Blues will make you want to treat yo’self to cheer yourself up, if you can make 90% of your meals and treats at home ones, it will make a huge difference on how well you’ll recover from overspending. Pinterest and Instagram is a huge source of inspo for meals. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a mass of cookbooks that you can dive into one weekend and take inspiration from. Give it a go for a week and see how much you save. It might just convert you to go for another two months.
UP YOUR SAVINGS NEXT MONTH.
This may be a scary one to think of, but upping your savings for the next month will make a huge difference to how you’ll feel after a spending hangover. I’m not talking crazy amounts, but an extra £50 into savings is better than nothing. Realistically, it’s just over an extra £10 a week, which I think we can all agree we can live without. Even emptying your spare change from your purse at the end of the week will make a difference. It also means should you get yourself into a pickle again, you’ve got a few extra emergency pennies to fall back on. I’ve already planned for a few extra pennies to go into savings for February and I’m already feeling ten times better about the month ahead.
FOCUS ON THE FUTURE.
As I said at the beginning of this post, don’t beat yourself up. We’ve all made mistakes, and we can all learn from them. And personally, it’s a much better use of your time to look forward to the future than beat yourself up for months over a tiny mistake you made. Accept you overspend and put a plan in place. Think about something you’ve got planned for the year ahead (mine is going on holiday with Lee and also Spice Girls concert coming up) and use that as motivation as to why you want to work hard to not get yourself in the mess again. Speak to friends about it also. No one likes to talk about money, but speaking to a friend or two that you trust will allow you to lift the weight off your shoulder. They will also be your personal cheerleaders at motivating you to recover from overspending. The future is bright and it’s not worth diminishing that shine on 2019 just because of one tiny mistake.
Do you have any general savings or budgeting tips? And how do you recover from spending hangover?