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A piggy bank sits comfortably, wrapped in the warmth of smart finances

If you spent your whole year working hard and being careful with your money, it's no fun to reach the end of the year and realize you're broke.

But if you do a little work, you might be able to get through the end-of-year with more money in your wallet than you had to start with! Check out these nine great tips for stopping your finances from freezing and learn how to get back on your feet financially!

1. Manage Family Gift Expectations

Your family might be accustomed to receiving great gifts from you in the past, but if you're uncertain about your financial future, you might want to make sure nobody ends up disappointed.

Let your adult family members know ahead of time that they don't have to buy you anything too pricey, and that will clue them into the idea that you may not be buying them the same level of gifts as you might have in the past.

As for the little ones, it's easy to put the blame on Santa being a bit of a cheapskate this time around and that he might make up for it next year if they avoid being naughty.

2. Create Your Own Holiday Treats

When the cold seasons hit in full force across Oklahoma and Texas, there's nothing better than a delicious cup of hot cocoa. Other seasonal favorites include fruitcakes, pies, and other belly-filling delights.

If you know you probably shouldn't spend full price on pre-cooked treats, consider making them yourself. Remember, a whole box of hot cocoa mix usually costs less than the price of ordering a single cup from a coffee shop!

3. Cash in on Rewards

All year long, most people with credit card reward points build them up, month by month. However, during the rush of the holiday season, there's a tendency among busy adults to totally overlook them.

If you have rewards points built up or any other form of "currency" to cash in on, let the savings and benefits roll in! There's no better time to pad your wallet with the money you earned all year long than the end of the year.

4. Cancel Subscriptions

Did you decide to try out a new magazine subscription this year? What about a second, or even third, streaming or on-demand video service?

If so, take a moment to consider how often you actually read them or watch them. If they aren't a necessity, dump them pronto. Or, take a free weekend to binge every minute of content you really care about seeing, and then end your subscription.

5. Set Money Goals for the New Year

If you entered this winter season low on funds, you might want to re-evaluate your spending throughout the year and determine what caused it so you don't find yourself in the same situation next year.

Now is the perfect time to plan out your spending for the new year. You can break the year down into quarters, or even look at month to month spending. If you have already made use of careful budgeting, you should be able to roughly chart out your spending for the New Year to come out on top.

6. Switch Your Strategy at the Grocery Store

Everyone has to eat. You spend a lot at the grocery store each month feeding your family, but you probably could pay a lot less. Find ways to save on each trip, such as: 

  • Buying generic products instead of brand names 
  • Clipping coupons from the newspaper or finding them online
  • Checking weekly specials and buying only items that are on sale

You can plan your meals around specials and coupons and save a bundle on food, even for big holiday meals. Look for websites that allow you to type in your available ingredients and provide suggested recipes. 

7. Ask for Extensions

When searching for ways to stop your finances from freezing during a personal financial crisis, sometimes you just have to ask. If you owe money to multiple places, try reaching out and seeing if you can stall your payments during this personal financial crisis. Sometimes when you explain your situation, you can receive a little extra help. You may be able to skip a monthly bill or provide a partial payment, for example. 

8. Stop Using Your Credit Cards

It may be tempting to charge everything when you have financial difficulties. You can always pay it off later, right? Not necessarily. When you run up big bills on your credit cards, you create financial problems you will deal with well into the future. Many credit cards have high interest rates. If you can only afford to make the minimum payments for the next few months, you will face greater debt even as your financial situation improves. 

9. Get a Personal Loan

If you are in a pinch, a personal loan is a better option than using your credit card to pay for a necessity. You can take only the money you need and get a more favorable interest rate than with most credit cards. You can pay off your loan quickly and move on with your financial recovery, too. 

Apply For a Personal Loan Online

Remember: if you need fast funds to get through the holiday season, look no further than Atlas Credit. We offer quick and easy personal loans that range from $100 to $1,400 on 5- to 12-month repayment plans. Apply online or in-store at your local location in Oklahoma or Texas today!

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