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Wellness Zone: Curing the post-holiday spending blues

Lesa Briggs, MS, Assistant Director Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Literacy & K-12 Outreach

How to attain financial wellness this year

By Lesa Briggs, MS

Are you still suffering from your holiday shopping spree? The calendar says late February, but many of us are still paying for the extra spending we did over the holidays. If you’re one who forgot to take time to stop before you shopped, I’ve got some tips for now and for next year.

I can assure you there’s no need to fret. To get rid of your holiday shopping debt hangover, let’s get you back on track by monitoring your budgeting, savings and spending habits. Below is a list of tips on how to budget:

•Create a budget you can stick to

•Consider current cash flow, debt, and other financial obligations

•Make a list of monthly income versus monthly expenses

•Find ways to cut back on spending, like limiting your Starbucks purchases!

•Pledge to put any excess funds toward paying down your debt

Another one of the first steps to achieving financial wellness is to pay off any money you owe. Here is a list of tips on how to get those bills and debts paid in full:

•Be realistic about your timeframe, paid in full doesn’t happen overnight

•Stay committed to your goal

•Just say “no” to incurring any new debt

So what will your plan be for the holidays in 2018? Remember these tips and you won’t have to worry about another year of holiday shopping debt.

•Stop and plan before you shop

•Set your holiday spending amount and start saving

•Find new places to cut back

•Use coupons, shop around, compare prices

•Prepare in advance, avoid impulse buying and sales traps

•Look for sales and discounts, even before the holiday rush

There’s no doubt that getting into debt is easy and that getting out takes time. But, when you accomplish it, it is worth the effort.

Need help sorting through it all? No problem. Just stop by one of my regular presentations. You’ll find the schedule on our Financial Literacy & Wellness website,

I know you can do it. Good luck and happy debt-free responsible holiday shopping!

This is one in a series of Wellness Zone articles addressing the seven dimensions of wellness that the new CU Denver Lola & Rob Salazar Student Wellness Center will be built on—social, physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, environmental and creative wellness. The center is scheduled to open in May.

Lesa Briggs, MS, created the CU Denver Financial Literacy & Wellness program to change mindsets and behaviors, and to improve students’ financial well-being. Her Financial Education website is and includes a budgeting worksheet, a schedule of her presentations, and other helpful tools. Briggs can be reached at

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