I had such a wonderful holiday with my family in Pennsylvania. There were airports, bows and wrapping paper, smiles, music, toasts to good fortune and days past, special holiday movies and shows, candy canes, and everything in between.
Now that the holidays are officially over, I must admit that I feel a little void where holiday cheer, family and peppermint candies used to fill.
If you are suffering from a slight case of holiday hangover, here are some common post-holiday blues, and ways to beat them.
You Overspent and are Feeling the Financial Headache
It is too bad that some aspirin and water won’t cure this holiday hangover!
If you got swept up in all of the holiday cheer and great sales, don’t fret. For those of us who overspent on our credit cards and cannot pay the bill in full come January, the best solution is to buy yourself some more time at no cost to you.
Open up a new credit card with a 0% balance transfer option, (check out our Free Money Page for updates to these credit card offers), and transfer your credit card balance to this new card. Do not charge anything else to this card because in most cases you will sacrifice your finance charge grace period on new purchases for the courtesy of the free balance transfer. Instead, work out a payment plan to pay off this credit card balance in full by the last month of the 0% apr offer. This is usually six or twelve months.
If you overspent from your bank account and will now have trouble paying bills in January or having cash for variable spending, there are a few ways to handle this. First of all, cash in any of the gift cards you received over the holidays on Plastic Jungle. If you have a savings account to tap, you can do so to cover your bills; however, treat this as a loan and make sure to pay yourself back within a certain amount of months. If you have your W-2s and other tax documentation collected, and if you are expecting a tax return, you can e-file in January and set your tax return for automatic deposit into your bank account. This should take between 8 to 15 days. Carpooling with someone at work starting in January is a way to add a few extra bucks to your wallet. If you have a credit card as backup, you can use this to pay your bills in January, and then pay this off in February during the grace period (please note, if you use this method, then you will essentially be paying double bills in February: January’s bills via your credit card statement, and February’s bills via your bank account).
Traveling over the Holidays Has Left you Feeling Stressed
Sounds like you need a cheap, staycation to get the relaxation you were hoping for (but did not get!) from being off of work. Choose a weekend in early to mid January to stay home and relax. This weekend is not for taking down Christmas decorations, working on house projects, paying bills, or anything of the like. It is literally to decompress, light a fire, read a good book, or to do anything else that you personally find enjoyable and relaxing.
You Received Gifts You Do Not Want
Your first option is to return the gifts if you also received a gift receipt. If there is no gift receipt, but you happen to know which store the gift was purchased at, then you can probably exchange it for store credit. Check with the store’s policy. If not, are any of these gifts re-giftable? Another option is to donate your gift, or to simply just give it to another person who you know can use it or would enjoy it more than yourself.
You are Suffering from Post-Holiday Blues
The holidays can be such a whirl of fun, excitement, and out of the ordinary good cheer for everyone. Coming down from such a high can leave some of us a little blue. If you are feeling these holiday blues, don’t forget that most of the activities that you do around Christmas time are really ways to celebrate the season of winter. For example, playing in the snow, drinking hot chocolate, lighting cozy fires and candles at night are all things that you can do throughout the entire season of winter. Perhaps you and your family or friends can meet-up for a nice Sunday meal once or twice throughout winter to extend that feeling of closeness most often associated with the holidays.
No matter what your holiday hangovers may be (and I would love to hear what they are in the comments below!), I hope that your holidays were well worth it. Put some thought into finding your own cure, as well as use the suggestions above to start your 2010 off right.