sign up log in
Want to go ad-free? Find out how, here.

Lynda Moore has ideas on how to get your resolve back, your finances back on track, and to make sure you don't go backwards in future Christmases

Personal Finance / opinion
Lynda Moore has ideas on how to get your resolve back, your finances back on track, and to make sure you don't go backwards in future Christmases
holiday financial woes
Image sourced from

Christmas is over for another year.  How did you go?  Feeling relaxed or still a bit frazzled?  This wonderful time of the year creates an atmosphere that can sweep you along and before you know it, you’ve over-indulged.  Over doing the eating, drinking, socialising and the spending.

Then there’s the last-minute shopping, organising the Christmas Day lunch/dinner/BBQ, family and friends and of course, not forgetting the gifts.

Phew!  How did you fit it all in?

At this time of the year, habits that we’ve carefully nurtured throughout the year, go out the window.  And to a certain extent, why not?  It’s the time of year when we can loosen the belt a little, let go of some of those restraints and enjoy the festive season.  After all, seeing the absolute delight on family and friend’s faces when they open their presents is priceless. As is sharing a special meal prepared for the occasion.

Now Christmas is over for another year and those post-Christmas money blues might be starting to make themselves felt.  So, it’s time to establish that resolve again and get yourself back on track.  So, it’s back to the exercise regime and into the healthy eating with a bit more rigour to lose those extra kilo’s.  And don’t forget the finances, they will probably need a bit of adjusting as well.

Here are 7 tips that will help you get your post-Christmas money blues under control.

Acknowledge that you have gone a bit overboard

It is easy to get carried away with the emotion of Christmas and the urge to buy gifts and all the Christmas parties and those social functions.  It’s okay to fall off the budget and diet wagon, the key thing is to realise you have, and get back on pronto.

Work out what you’ve spent

Calculate what you have spent over and above your normal monthly spending.  Go online, have a look at your bank accounts and credit cards for December.  Add up your total withdrawals (including food, cash, etc) and compare this to a normal month.  This will give you a good indication of how much extra you have spent.  Sort the list between your fixed costs, such as mortgage, rent, power, insurance, phone, etc. and your ‘other’ or discretionary spending.  You will find that it is the discretionary spend that has gone up.

Quantify the overspend

Find out what you spent the money on.  Did it come out of savings or was your credit card (or buy now pay later deals) very active?  Where it came from will determine how you go about sorting it out.

If you ‘borrowed’ the money from savings ...

... then increase your regular savings for the next few months and pay it back.  Once you have paid it back, keep adding the extra to your savings account.  Better still, open a Christmas account and by next Christmas you will have enough tucked away so you won’t find yourself with these post-Christmas money blues again.

Credit card / Buy now pay later

If the spending is on a credit card and you didn’t pay the whole amount off, you’ll have the interest to contend with as well.  At the beginning of the year is a good time to shop around and see if any banks are offering a new credit card with 0% interest (or near zero) for a period of time.  Then transfer the balance to the new card, cut up the old one and spread payments to clear the credit card debt, over the interest free period.  If you can’t do this, then you are going to have to wear the extra expense of the interest and pay extra on your credit card until it is clear.

Find extra money

Another method to get on top of your Christmas debt is to find extra money over the next few months until you are back on track.  So, go back to your ‘normal’ month of withdrawals and see what you can cut back on to get yourself on track again.  Make sure you are realistic, just do a bit of pruning here and there, rather than slashing and burning.  If you are too restrictive, it won’t work.

Start planning for next Christmas!

To ensure that those post-Christmas money blues don't show up next year, start planning.  By now you will have a good idea how much you want to spend next Christmas, so, decide now (or as soon as you are back in the black) to transfer a fixed amount each time you get paid to a Christmas savings account.  You will be amazed at how much better you’ll feel this time next year!

*Lynda Moore is a Money Mentalist coach and New Zealand’s only certified New Money Story® mentor. Lynda helps you understand why you do the things you do with your money, when we all know we should spend less than we earn. You can contact her here.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


Here is what works for us...

First, use any old vouchers or gift cards up. That saved us quite a bit this year. 

My siblings and I went to no gifts mode years ago. 

Kiddo gets big stuff he would have got anyway. New schoolbag, sports gear, clothes... 

Neices and nephews a pre-agreed $30 value each on years we all get together. 

Parents are very happy with vouchers since they are overflowing with stuff, and I found I could buy a mitre10 one with air points. They like gardening so job done. 

We don't give devices to kids. Why invite more of that battle into your life?


Yes grandchildren are very much vouchers now too but we wrap them up with a few smallish items so that there is still a personal side. 


Good thoughts. I think it’s time for my family to have the chat about no gifts, or at least within a fairly modest budget ceiling (eg. $50). As you say, the kids get the big things they need anyway during the year. And I don’t need anything, at least within a birthday or Xmas present budget.

One thing we like to do and I want to continue with is a nice meal for every birthday.


I must say it was so nice to get out of NZ for the silly season….

The other good thing for me financially is that me and family are all set for clothes for the next 1-2 years. I got some good stuff on sales at my go-to’s - Barkers and Rodd & Gunn - in mid to late 2023, then got some great super cheap top ups on basics at Uniqlo and Muji in Japan. As did the family. 
So one of my financial resolutions in 2024 is no clothes buying - my wardrobe is more than fully stocked!


Caught 9 snaps in the Kaipara today, back later in the week....... go fishing its cheaper then buyin


We use to do secret Santa for the adults. We could ask for anything we want up to max $50 each. They suggest suppliers, but I already know what I want so just put specs in there or direct links to what I'm after.

Then we actually get something we want, and the joy of giving without too much financial expectations and stress 👍🏼

Kids got essentials for the year from new, hand me down or op shop, plus 1 or 2 things they like from their parents.

People in our local community page or op shop get the extra good stuff that we don't need anymore.

Time to go fix my surf board and enjoy summer.

Happy new year all 🌊🏄🏼‍♂️


We do similar Secret Santa and it works well.  I suspect our next year challenge though is going to be that the gift must come from an op shop, the siblings were already making noises about this over Christmas... should be a fun challenge as I'm already good at that sport. 

We also as a (large) family all pitch in to one nicer gift for birthdays. Means that you get something really awesome. 

Happy surfing,  need to get my board out too. :)


Love the move away from consumerism