Financial journalist Bruce Sellery joined Breakfast Television this week to share tips on how we can use this past holiday season to set ourselves up right for the next holiday season — yes, we are already talking about December 2019!
Now is the best time to start planning for next year, because the holidays are still fresh in your mind, Bruce says. He recommends you do a quick debrief, asking yourself “what made you happy this year?” Write down the answers, and put them away somewhere safe so you can pull them out at the start of next year’s holiday season.
Bruce says this list will help you focus on what you like to do over the holidays, whether it’s buying gifts, traveling, planning activities, or downtime, ensuring that you only spend your money and time on the things you love.
Next up, plan how you’re going to pay off this past holiday season. If you racked up credit card debt, you need to set a payment plan. Get the number owed, set a date to have it paid off, and determine your payment schedule.
If you are looking to cut your spending for the next couple of months, Bruce recommends having a “dry January” meaning that you cut your spending for at least one month, if not two, and that you look at your spending habits and choose a couple big things to forgo until your credit card debt is paid off. And, he says, this is more than just skipping your latte every morning for a plain coffee — it has to be bigger to actually make a difference.
Lastly, Bruce recommends you start saving for next year’s holidays now! Open a savings account dedicated to the holidays, determine how much you want to spend next year, divide it by 12, and set up a monthly automatic transfer. Your future self will thank you!
Bruce Sellery is on a mission to help people get a handle on their money so they can live the life they want. He speaks, writes, consults and uses every media format to engage audiences in a smart, fun, high energy way.
The bestselling author of two books, including Moolala: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things with Their Money (and What You Can Do About It), he is also the national money columnist for CBC Radio, a regular contributor to the hit TV show Cityline, the host of the weekly Moolala radio show and podcast on SiriusXM, and is often a featured guest on media outlets across North America including Breakfast Television, Canada AM, CNN, and MSNBC.