Black Friday Blues

How many of you took advantage of all the wonderful Black Friday sales, the three days of Thanksgiving sales or Cyber Monday sales? If so are you feeling the Black Friday Blues? What exactly are the Black Friday Blues? They are the realization that you have goofed big time and have either gotten yourself back into debt or have considerably increased your debt. Now, you’re thinking, “What have I done?” How will I ever pay this off?”

If you did not do what I suggested at the beginning of the year and start putting away a little each month in the gift category and if you did not use cash to pay for the gifts, and if you did not cut-up and stop using credit cards, chances are you won’t have enough money to pay off the bills when they come due. This will definitely give you the Black Friday Blues. Okay, so you are experiencing the Black Friday Blues how do you get out of them?

The first thing is to figure out if you can return the items that you bought. Yes, you need to return them. You CANNOT afford them. If you have already given the gift or mailed it out, then you need to take a very close look at your budget and see what you can spend less on for the next few months. You also need to cut or shred those credit cards IMMEDIATELY. Let’s say that overspent by $600. You decide by looking at your budget that you can cut back on your grocery bill by $50 a month. Then, take the $50 a month and pay it on that bill. If the $600 is spread over two or more cards, check which credit card has the highest interest rate and apply most of the $50 to that card. On the other cards you want to make the minimum payments. Then, when that card is paid-off, take the money you were paying on this card and add it to the minimum payment on the card with the next highest interest rate. Do this until your cards are paid-off. You might still be paying on that $600 next Christmas, so don’t be tempted to overspend next Christmas.

Instead, beginning next year or even this year, look a your budget and determine what amount you can afford to save each month on Christmas, birthday, anniversary gifts, and gifts for co-workers or other occasions. Then, make a list with three columns on it. Label column one as Name, column two as Gift Amount, and column three as Amount Available. On the first line of the third column, enter the amount you have determined you can afford to save for the entire year. On the first column, write each person’s name. On the second column, write the amount you plan to spend on that person for the entire year. Then, subtract that amount from the amount on column three. Continue to do this for each person on your list. Once you hit zero, you don’t have anymore money to spend, so you either have to cut your list to that number or change the amount you have allocated for each person. Remember that the amount next to each person’s name includes birthdays, anniversary, Christmas gifts, and any other gift you want to give to that person during the year. I have a list worksheet for this that you can download [wpdm_file id=13].

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