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Friday, January 6, 2017

Preserve the Good Cheer at Home After the Holidays

During the holidays, everyone is merry and spreading good cheer as they get ready for vacations with their loved ones. As soon as the New Year roles around and we realize it’s another 11 months before the next holiday season, the depression starts to set in.

Suddenly beautiful d├ęcor becomes an inconvenience as you try to fit things back into boxes for storage. The thrill of finding perfect gifts for friends and family is replaced by sticker shock when credit card bills arrive in the mail. The invites stop rolling in, and now you feel a little anti-social.
Fear not! There are things you can do to minimize the effects of coming down from a holiday cheer high.

Beef Up Security to Protect Your New Gifts
Remember the moment you unwrapped that new gadget or gizmo? Now imagine that same feeling, except this time it happens when a burglar realizes they just scored a new, expensive electronic device without paying a penny. A break-in will quickly erase all the happy memories you made opening presents on Christmas morning.

Never is there a better time to invest in home security than after the holidays. You’ve got more things to protect and those gift cards can be used at a home improvement store for things like security lights and Wi-Fi connected cameras. If you already have a home security system, you may want to think of ways you can beef it up to improve protection around the house. For instance, you can upgrade to a monitored security system. Click here for more information on how a monitored system works.

Clear Out the Clutter
Chances are your family got a lot of shiny, new things this Christmas. Unfortunately, your home is still the same size. If your home is anything like ours, there’s very little extra space for storage. Instead of trying to figure out how you’re going to make room for all the new stuff, clear a few things out instead.
The New Year is the perfect time for early spring cleaning. Give each person in the family three boxes and have them go through their rooms and closets to start purging. Bucket unwanted items into three groups:
  • ·  Donate/Give Away
  • ·  Sell
  • ·  Trash
Anytime that’s broken or totally worn out should go into the trash box. Don’t give yourself time to contemplate the decision – just toss it. Once you’re done purging you’ll probably have more than enough free space. Plus, you can earn a little extra cash to pay for all the presents you just bought.

Create a New Monthly Budget for the New Year
Having a merry Christmas often comes at a cost. In 2016 shoppers planned on spending an average of $929 on gifts alone. Some people spend mega bucks on presents for everyone they know while others spend more conservatively. Either way the holidays come with added expenses.

The best thing you can do to avoid post-holiday financial stress is to create a new monthly budget for the New Year. Going over a budget can be stressful when money is tight, but it’s also very empowering. Creating a budget means you’re taking control of your finances and putting yourself on a path to balance the books.

To give your budget a boost, take a hard look at your discretionary spending. These are all of the things that you buy outside of the essentials like food, housing and utilities. Until the holiday bills are paid off refrain from any discretionary spending. It’s also a good time to consider switching services or providers to save a little more on your monthly budget since companies will be offering New Year specials.

Find Alternatives to Holiday Sweets and Treats
Many people look forward to the holidays because it’s a smorgasbord of delicious foods. Diets seem to disappear and we let indulgence take over for about a month. Getting back to your healthy eating habits can be a bit of a drag.

Trying to quit all sweets and treats cold turkey could make the holiday withdrawal difficult to bear. The more effective route to take is one where you replace the sweets and treats with a healthy alternative.

Focus on Fresh Fruits
Sugary sweets can easily be replaced by fresh fruits. Fruit contains natural sugars that provide energy and make our taste buds happy.

Find an Accountability Partner
Finding the willpower to eat healthier after the holidays is easier when you have an accountability partner. Team up with a friend or family member that also wants to get their diet back on track and schedule time to touch base on a regular basis. You can discuss how successful you were at meeting goals and share tips to help one another out.

Keep Your Portions Under Control
During the holidays we aren’t shy about loading up our plates. One way to cut back without cutting out every treat is to focus on eating a smaller portion.


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