The gifts have been unwrapped, the relatives have taken off, and the fridge is stacked with containers of leftovers. Looks like you’re ready to take some time to recover, mentally and financially, from the holiday season! According to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season has shoppers spending an upwards of $800 this holiday season and your wallet may need a boost this time of year. Whether you spent $20 or $2,000 during the holidays, you can help get your budget back on track with these helpful money saving (and making) tricks.
Sell your unwanted gift cards
Did grandma give you a gift card to that clothing store you shopped at 10 years ago? Unload your unwanted gift cards for cash or credit on one of the many websites that will buy your unwanted gift cards from you. A quick online search for “sell gift cards for cash” will turn up a number of sites like Gift Card Granny, Cardpool, and CardCash. Sell your unwanted gift cards and put some cold hard cash in your pocket!
Have a money-free weekend
Make a commitment to yourself to not spend any money (outside of the necessary bills, of course) for an entire weekend. If two days seems a little daunting, start with a money-free day and work up to an entire weekend. Amy Clark, a blogger that challenged her family to a money-free month, writes that having no-spend days has helped her see how plentiful her life already is; in her experience, “How little you truly do need to be happy quickly comes into focus.”
Negotiate with your cable/internet provider
Depending on your provider, you may be able to snag a better deal with just a few bill negotiating tricks. Your monthly bill may not be as fixed as you think. Before you call your provider, do your research and investigate the prices of their competitors. What promotions are they running? They could be willing to match the price or service of the competitor. You may want to explore cheaper ways to watch TV too, like opting for an online streaming service, switching to a local cable provider, or using an antenna.
Limit your energy use
Help cut your utility costs by conserving energy at home. By lowering your thermostat, sealing air leaks in your windows and doors, and unplugging electronics while you’re away from the house, you could save money on your monthly utility bills, reports the U.S. Department of Energy.
Together, these tips could help you reduce your overall expenses for the beginning of 2015, pay down any post-holiday debt, and get your budget back on track. If you have any tips for being a super saver, let us know below! Share your tips with the community!