By Debbie Placke, Vice President, Manager, Financial Planning Tools and Marketing

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If the cheer from your holiday celebrations has dissipated and you are feeling the after effects of overspending, you’re not alone. Americans in general are spending more than ever.  According to a 2018 holiday shopping survey by Deloitte, the total holiday retail sales are expected to exceed $1.1 trillion in 2018 which would be up more than 5% from 2017.

The time is now to look ahead and make a new year’s resolution that can be a solid foundation for the years to come. While many people resolve to get healthy during a new year, in addition to your physical and mental health, you should also consider your financial health.

  • Start off the new year with a fresh look at how your finances are aligned with your goals.
  • Determine if your long-term objective has been derailed from too much spending over the holidays.
  • Regroup and recommit to your strategic plan for a long and financially fit life.
  • If you don’t already have a plan, now is a good time to start one!

One of the first and most important tasks for the new year is to assess any financial damage resulting from spending more than you expected. Review your credit card and bank statements to identify any balances that are inconsistent with your overall financial objectives.

Next, it’s time to create a plan to pay down any high interest debt and rebuild your savings. If possible, pay more than the minimum, especially on cards with higher interest rates. To rebuild your savings, consider setting up automatic deposits from your payroll into a special emergency fund account or holiday spending account for next year’s holiday shopping.

Getting back on track will require you to look at your complete financial situation. Contact a Benjamin F. Edwards advisor for help in getting organized and preparing a financial plan to help you stay aligned with your goals throughout your lifetime.