Getting Your Finances Back On Track After The Festive Season

Have you overspent at Christmas? Don’t beat yourself up about it—it’s the holidays, after all. Here’s how to get your finances back on track after the festive season.

The parties came and went. You spent too much on food, presents, or perhaps a holiday trip. Chances are, your bank balance is not looking good after the year-end celebrations. The good news is that you don’t need to panic if you’ve found yourself spending more than usual during the festivities.

If you’re looking for ways on how you’ll get your finances back on track after you’ve had a holiday blowout, these best practices can help you in no time.

Work Out What You Have Spent

First, channel your energy into figuring out how much you spent over the holidays and where you went over budget. Christmas is a time of festive decorations, lots of gifts, over-indulgence, and parties. It’s easy to splurge and forget about your budget during the celebration.

Write down all the costs you forgot to factor into a budget or all the purchases you made when you forgot about the budget itself. A cool new gadget you purchases, shipping fees on all those gifts, extended gift warranties, gift wrapping—they all add up.

You can then set yourself a realistic goal of spending less next time around. Learn from your budget mistakes, no need to sit and stew on them.

Make A Plan To Pay Off Your Debt

Know exactly how much you owe. Create a list that shows each debt and the corresponding repayments that need to be met. The list can include your rent, unpaid bills, loan repayments, credit cards, fines, etc. Anything that you need to pay on a regular basis. These are your expenses.

Sum up all your debts to come up with a monthly total. The number might come as a shock at first, but knowing your total expenses is a crucial step in taking charge of your finances, which is always a good thing.

Following that step is to list your income or the money that comes in every month, this is often made up of your salary or benefits. Now you can compare your income to your expenses and work on a plan to pay off your debt. So long as your income is greater than your expenses, you can allocate some (or all) of that to paying off debts.

Decide which are your priority debts and try to pay them first. For assistance, The National Debt Helpline has a guide that can help you to prioritise your debts.

After you’ve wiped off all your debts, fingers crossed, it’s a lot easier to create a budget for next Christmas.

Have A Strict Budget In Place For Next Christmas

Make a budget and stick to it

If your spending has burst out of control last Christmas, you better be prepared and vow to do better for the next holiday. You have to come up with a stricter budget.

Budgeting is undeniably one of the best practices for managing spending. A budget helps you save money and better utilise the money you have. Decide how much you intend to spend on the upcoming Christmas, and divide that number by 52. You now have the amount you will have to put away each week to afford that Christmas budget.

If that number is higher than you would like, there are ways to save money at Christmas. You can suggest doing a Secret Santa instead of buying gifts for every individual member of your family. Or you can set a spend limit as a group, with no gift allowed to cost more than the limit. Or perhaps the adults could agree to buy gifts for kids only. You might also want to try the best apps to save money on shopping.

Start Planning Now

The best time to start planning a budget is now. You should already have your regular budget based on your income and expenses, but there are plenty more expenses to factor in throughout those end-of-year weeks. Consider:

  • Gifts
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Decorations
  • Parties
  • Entertainment
  • Utilities
  • Travel
  • Charity donations
  • Any other holiday expenses

Factor in all those expenses to make a reliable Christmas budget. Compute how much funds you need to set aside regularly to meet your spending surge in December. With a ballpark of how much this festive season could cost you, it’s time to develop a plan to reach your savings goals. Try running a test, putting aside the amount required to meet your goals, for two months. Is it manageable? Are those goals realistic? Could you be saving even more?

If you can’t reach those goals in your test run, you probably won’t reach them for the rest of the year either. You may need to re-budget your holiday spending into something more attainable and realistic.

To help monitor your Christmas savings, consider adding a separate savings account (so long as your bank doesn’t charge you it). Set up automatic transfers from your main account into your Christmas savings account to lessen the hassle of moving money around.

Earn Some Extra Money

Hustle to earn some extra cash

In some cases, it’s not enough to reduce your spending after the holidays. You may also need to increase your income as well.

Make some extra cash through side hustles. They not only help fill your bank account, but they can also be a gateway for transitioning into your own business, develop new skills, and create a network to help with your career.

Freelancing is very popular for most people since it’s straightforward when you already possess skills or talent. It’s also flexible, often done online while earning decent money. Not to mention, you can always turn this into a full-time gig.

Do you have charisma in front of the camera? Have you considered starting your own YouTube channel? There are lots of fan bases you can tap into when you find your niche. Love knitting? Create a knitting tutorial channel with a unique approach. Obsessed with gaming? Look for a new angle and think about what kind of videos to show.

If you liked our “Getting Your Finances Back On Track After The Festive Season” and took away something useful, check our blog space regularly to learn more on basic budgeting, how to manage your debts, or, to be more specific, how you can pay down your holiday debt.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that Cigno Loans’ articles do not replace advice from an accountant or financial advisor. All information provided is intended to be used as a guide only, as it does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. If you require assistance, it is recommended that you consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.


Ordered by the Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has found that Cigno Australia Pty Ltd (Cigno Australia) and BSF Solutions Pty Ltd (BSF Solutions) have breached the law by engaging in unlicensed credit activity and charging prohibited fees.

In the period from July 2022 to 3 October 2023, over 100,000 consumers have been lent a total of $34 million, and charged fees of over $70 million, under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’ operated by BSF Solutions and Cigno Australia. At no time has either BSF Solutions or Cigno Australia held an Australian Credit Licence.

The Court also found that Mark Swanepoel (director of Cigno Australia) and Brenton James Harrison (director of BSF Solutions) were involved in these breaches of the law.

With effect from 24 May 2024, the Court has granted permanent injunctions preventing Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions from:

  • demanding, receiving or accepting fees or charges, including amounts of loan principal, from consumers in relation to credit provided under the ‘No Upfront Charge Model’; and
  • engaging in further credit activity pursuant to the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’, including by entering into new agreements with consumers, for so long as they do not hold an Australian Credit Licence.

Cigno Australia was ordered by the Court to, by 5th July 2024, send written communications to consumers who between July 2022 and December 2022 entered into agreements with Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’.

The Court will later determine whether (among other things) Cigno Australia and Mark Swanepoel ought to pay a pecuniary penalty in respect of this conduct, and whether Mark Swanepoel should be restrained from carrying on a business engaging in credit activity.

Cigno Australia, BSF Solutions, Mr Swanepoel and Mr Harrison intend to appeal the decision of the Court and have filed an application for leave to appeal. If the appeal is successful, some or all of the orders of the Federal Court of Australia may be set aside.

Where can you get more information?

Where to go for further support

You can access legal advice in your state at: Free legal advice –

If you are experiencing trouble with debt, or money worries in general, contact:

  • the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or online chat (9:30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday).

If you need someone to talk to, contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours) or their crisis support online chat or
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or their webchat