Boxes, wrapping paper and bags! What to do with all these Christmas sale tags??
As it seems like every year, Christmas has come and gone in a flash. Here are some helpful tips to keep you organized and get back on track for the New Year! What better way to kick off 2017 than to hit the ground running making it a better year than 2016!
Check Your Budget
– If you put your Christmas expenses on credit, make it your top priority to pay off that debt as soon as possible. Don’t wake up in January with a Christmas hangover.
-Create a new budget for the year 2017. Please refer here Napkin Budget to help get started in creating a budget if you do not have one already made.
What to do with all those gift bags and boxes!
If you received gifts this year from family & friends in a gift bag or box, do not throw these away! Instead, fold them up nicely and put them in a sealed tote or somewhere safe where you will not forget them next year. Pack them away with any other Christmas decorations you take down. This not only saves you time in having to go buy more but also saves you money from paying full price on next year’s gifts. Having the supply at your home before the demand hits saves you time, money and hassle.
Make a New Meal Plan-Restock your baking supplies
If you are like me, I love baking during the Holidays! Filling the house up with delicious and cozy aromas is my way of welcoming the Holiday Season. My husband and I especially enjoy baking cookies and whatnot together to give as gifts to family and friends. After all the baking sheets have been washed and the leftover cookies packed away, we usually find that the ingredients in our cupboards have been largely depleted. This is a great time to do an inventory of and create a list of what you need to restock on so you’re not in the middle of cooking and go to reach for vanilla, flour, sugar, etc and realize you used most of it during Christmas. This is also a great time to check expiration dates and pitch anything that may make someone sick. So be sure you do this before going to the grocery store. Also, as the leftovers start to quickly disappear this means it’s time to make more meal plans. Take a moment in your day to sit down and create a new meal plan so you’re not stuck in the grocery store pondering what to make for dinner the week after Christmas, get fed up and pick-up Chinese Takeout on the way home (been there, done that…)
Head to the store to stock up for next year (Non-perishable / yearly branded items 50%+ off)
This is probably the most fun time for me on the day after Christmas! Yes, you must push yourself to get out of the mellow feeling of staying in your pajamas like the day before but in the long run shopping the day after Christmas pays off (literally), especially if you want to save money for Christmas next year. One thing Jason and I have learned is that shopping a day after Christmas you realize what items you used up or needed this Christmas, so while it’s fresh in your mind take the initiative and stock up at half-price (or less) on non-perishables. We love to restock on gift wrapping paper, cookie boxes, festive napkins/plates, gifts and other things that are half off and sometimes even free with cash-back apps (iBotta, Ebates, etc) when you submit your receipts.
Forget the big changes (New Year’s Resolutions), go with little changes over time
One of the biggest mistakes most people make (we do it too) when making a New Year’s Resolution is they think extreme. When making a New Year’s Resolution most people quickly think of something that they want to change overnight and it lasts a few seconds, minutes, hours days, weeks, maybe a month and then it stops. Why not start with a small simple change in your life and let it snowball into better habits. Take the following example below:
Extreme Resolution: I’m Going to Stop Buying Wants
Gradual Resolutions: Where is my Money Going and How can I Start Saving
Examples of how to make this resolution last for a lifetime,
– Resolve to keep a record of what you spent (bank statement, receipt jar) for a month.
– Go through the receipts and bank/card statements to see what you actually spent.
– Use this information to build and tune your budget so it works for you and your family.
– Follow your budget and use it to spent guilt-free because you’re telling your money where to go.
If you want 2017 to be a better year, we encourage you to try starting off with these simple tips and resolutions to help build habits that you’ll be glad you kept next Christmas!