Getting back on track after the holiday spending season

If you’re feeling the holiday spending hangover, you’re not alone. It’s hard not to blow past your budget and sometimes, it can be even harder to reel things in during the New Year.

“It’s really tough because I think having good financial habits isn’t something you want to spend a lot of time on,” Dr. Cliff Robb, a consumer science professor at UW-Madison, said.

When it comes to shopping this season, a survey from Coinstar shows 65 percent of people will set a budget, but 77 percent expect to blow that budget. Less than 40 percent of people know how they’ll get back on track, according to the survey.

“Think about establishing really good habits going into the new year. Start with a really solid budget that you think you can manage,” Robb said.

When it comes to paying of credit cards, Robb said many people try to pay off cards with the highest interest rates first.

“But sometimes people need to see progress and it’s not a terrible idea if you have smaller balance accounts or smaller balance cards to go ahead and get those paid off,” he said.

He suggests reviewing your primary accounts, checking your credit score, and maybe most importantly, taking it easy on yourself.

“I think these kind of fresh breaks that come when you get a new year, that’s a good time to think about habits that we want to have and think about starting some of those new habits,” Robb said.