How to Recover from Too Much Holiday Spending.
Disclaimer: I am not a trained financial expert, by any means. I'm just trying to offer some tips and tricks for recovering from too much holiday spending. If you're in serious debt, I suggest seeking help from actual financial experts. Thank you.
I can't speak for everyone, but during the holidays, I turn into a money-spending machine. I don't care how much I spend, I just want to make my family and friends happy, and enjoy myself. I went a bit overboard this year, and now I'm in trouble. Here's what I'm doing to get back on track. If you have any other tips or tricks, leave them in the comments, please!
What are some ways to recover from too much holiday spending?
Well obviously, stop spending money immediately.
If you must spend money, only spend within your means. I utilize a credit card with cash-back rewards. I use my credit card all the time for purchases like gas and food, but I always pay it back in full. Don't fall into that trap!
If you use any cash-back cards, check and see if any of them have rewards available.
See if you have any Groupons or other daily deal site vouchers laying around. Check out this article from shoestring for more on that: How I Found $2,757 in Free Money from Expired Groupons & Forgotten Gift Cards. You can go out to dinner with a (already paid-for) Groupon and save money on groceries! Don't forget to tip your waiter, though.
Did you get any money or gift cards as gifts this season? Duh, use that money to pay your bills. Also, you can use a site like Plastic Jungle to sell or trade your gift cards.
(Not-so) Extreme couponing! Coupons aren't just for old ladies and crazy Southerners (I feel like it's always crazy Southerners on "Extreme Couponing".. am I wrong? I don't mean to offend any of my crazy Southern friends! :D) who want to put grocery stores out of business. Find coupons in your circulars or online. Also, use sites like RetailMeNot to find coupon codes before making any online purchases.
This one might be a little harsh, but if you got some presents you really didn't like or want, try to return/exchange them or sell them on eBay.
Spend time in January doing things that don't cost any money. Go hiking. Do some early spring cleaning. Work on a budget (hint hint). Learn how to cook a lot of different meals with only a few ingredients. Rent movies you've never seen before and books you've been meaning to read from your local library.
Speaking of spring cleaning...consignment stores and stores like Plato's Closet/Beacon's Closet/etc. will buy clothes from you and give you a percentage of cash or store credit on the spot.
Some tips for next holiday season:
• Do Secret Santas/grab bags next year. That way you'll only have to buy one present instead of many!
• If you want to buy gifts, start buying them a few months early. Get one gift a week, starting in October.
• Make use of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales.
• Give handmade presents. You have a whole year to think of something perfect.
Hope this was helpful! Don't forget to leave your tips in the comments! :)