If you’re going into the new year with some baggage from the holidays… emotional and financial… now is the time to make some changes to start the year off right.
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1- Get your house in order… literally and psychologically
I don’t know about you, but after the holidays I feel a bit overwhelmed with stuff. Stuff that’s been sitting around not being used is now underneath a mountain of gifts.
So I like to start the year off by cleansing my house of some of that stuff and getting it out the door.
The decreased clutter promotes calm, which helps avoid some emotional shopping. And minimalizing living spaces helps to avoid the feeling of needing more stuff. You could say… less promotes less.
Now, what do you do with all that purged stuff? There are several options that can either make you some cash.. or help someone in need.
I sell the best quality, name brand items on Poshmark or eBay, donate other good stuff to Goodwill and trash or recycle the rest.
2- Email overhaul
Just coming off a holiday gift-giving season, it can be hard to stop spending. But you can help this by avoiding things that trigger spending, like marketing emails.The first thing I did in 2018 to get my spending under control.Click To Tweet
The first thing I did in 2018 to get my spending under control was to unsubscribe to all those business emails offering discounts and promo codes.
By law, they are required to include a way to unsubscribe in each email. It’s at the bottom, and sometimes you need to search for it, but it’s there. It will be called ‘unsubscribe’ or ‘opt-out.’
3- Wipeout holiday debt
Christmas may be over, but the credit card bill hangover can last a long time.
Buckle down and wipe out that holiday debt first and fast. Put away $50 a week or $100 from each paycheck, or the highest amount you can until the holidays.. and it’s baggage.. are truly behind you.
It helps to stay motivated while paying down a debt if you see it all the time. Print out this Holiday Debt Payoff Chart, customize it to your debt amount, and put it on your refrigerator. It’s a constant reminder and motivator.
4- Set up a budget
There are lots of different budgeting plans out there. I’m personally a big fan of Dave Ramsey’s debt snowball and cash envelope methods.
But the key components in pretty much any budget are tracking your spending and allocating your income wisely.
Here are a few of my favorite budget blogs with printable budget plans.
5- Stop shopping for free
There are so many awesome rebate apps, that if you’re not using every one of them, you’re basically throwing away money.
My go-to rebate apps for groceries are Ibotta and SavingStar.
If you do any online shopping, you should use Swagbucks. After using Swagbucks for just part of the year last year, I got back $125 in gift cards that I used to buy Christmas gifts.
And the best and easiest rebate app for dining and travel is Dosh (affiliate link).