If you wake up on Jan. 1 reeling from a financial hangover from the holidays, start the new year by taking steps to avoid ending up in the same situation next year. “Much of the financial stress surrounding the holidays can be solved by planning ahead,” said Melissa Thomas, owner of Melissa the Coach financial coaching.
Make a list of all your holiday purchases and add up how much you spent, Thomas said. Then, decide whether you will spend the same amount for the holidays in 2018. Divide that amount by 11 to figure out how much you need to set aside each month in a holiday savings account.
“Start saving in January and finish in November,” Thomas said. “For example, saving $50 a month for 11 months will give you $550 for the holidays.”
Also, factor in amounts for other gifts you’ll be giving throughout the year, said Deacon Hayes, author of You Can Retire Early! “This way when birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas come, you already have the money in a bank account to make those purchases,” he said.