Can you really end the year on a financial high? If you let some of the biggest voices online tell you, the answer would be a loud no. Between all of the presents to buy, all of the dinners to host, and all of the fantastic parties to attend, there’s going to be a pretty big hole in your wallet come January. Even though it might not be time to count down to 2014, I think it’s really important to look at how you can end the year on a good note financially.
First and foremost, you really need to start thinking about this future now. It’s not going to be long before we’re at the end of the year. It might sound like time is going to start running slow but that’s not the case. The New Year will be here before you know it. Then what will you do? If you’re like most people, you’re going to run around in circles and get yourself all flustered and frustrated. It’s something that causes a lot of stress. I don’t know about you, but when I’m stressed out I really can’t think of anything. Everything just sort of gets tangled up and that’s not pleasant either.
What I think you should do is allow yourself plenty of time to sit down and honestly plan. That doesn’t mean that you need to squeeze yourself so tightly that your eyes pop. This is a classic newbie mistake. When someone says budget, they turn around and say “OK!” and then budget so tightly that there’s really no room for fun. All that’s going to do is make yourself feel tempted to splurge when there are tough times ahead, in order to reward yourself for all of the hard work that you’ve done.
You have to realize that you’re working hard on your future, not just the present. Sure, it might be tempting to just party without limits. But that type of behavior is what leads to the January blues — when you don’t have enough money to really enjoy the New Year and all of the great shopping deals that you can find.
It’s better to plan things out, look at how much money you really have coming into the house and leaving the house. You have to look at expenses a little differently. There are going to be some expenses that hit at the end of the year that don’t hit any other time of year. That will vary from house to house. If you have car repairs, this might be an expense. If you have school related purchases that you need to make before the children go back, then you’ll want to do that too. The point here is to look ahead at what’s really going on in your life.
If you feel pressured to attend everyone’s party, step back and ask yourself how close you are to that person. If they won’t even notice whether you show up or not, you have to wonder if it’s really worth worrying yourself crazy over. Far too many people get worked up over things that they can’t control. You cannot control the way others look at you. This is just something that isn’t going to work.
You have to feel your way out of a tough situation, rather than feeling like you’re going to be stuck in it forever. This applies to debt more than anything else. Sure, at first you might feel surrounded by debt, like there’s no way out. Start chipping away at the debts anyway. Start looking at a life outside of your debts. Imagine how good it’s going to feel when you don’t have to deal with any creditors. Imagine how good it’s going to feel when you can use that money that’s going out to these bills every month for just about anything that your heart desires. It’s really that amazing of a life, and millions of people life this life. They’re ordinary people, just like you. But what changed is that they believed that they could do it. They looked into debt counseling for information on things that they didn’t understand. They got someone skilled to work out their debts for them. If you’re terrified to negotiate on the phone…who says that you have to be the only person doing it?
Setting financial boundaries is a good way to make sure that you don’t fall back into debt. But that’s for another article, so stay tuned!