Now that the holiday season is over, it’s time to take down the decorations and work off the cookies. Take a look at your budget, too. Implement these three strategies that help you recover from holiday spending, pay off your debt and start the new year on solid financial footing.
1. Cut Costs
A few spending tweaks can boost your discretionary income. Then, you can use your savings to repay debts accrued from holiday spending.
Start cutting costs by deciding which expenses you can live without. For example, consider dropping monthly gym, magazine or streaming subscriptions. While you may need to make a few sacrifices, think about how good it will feel to pay off your holiday debt.
Next, learn new skills. Perhaps you could discover how to change your vehicle’s oil, perform basic home repairs and cut your hair. As a bonus, you can put your new skills to work for you as a side hustle.
Now, renegotiate monthly bills. Contact your utility, insurance, internet, and phone providers, and ask about available loyalty discounts, service bundles or other ways to cut your bills. You may even be able to negotiate a lower mortgage payment and credit card balance or interest rate, especially if you have an on-time payment history.
Also, shop around for new providers. You may be able to save money when you switch home or auto insurance companies, utility providers or your cellphone carrier.
Finally, keep in mind that cutting costs offers benefits into the next holiday season. After you repay your debts, deposit your savings into a bank or credit union account. Begin now to save for the next holiday so you don’t go into debt again.
2. Get Another Side Gig
Make extra money with a side hustle as an independent worker in the gig economy. You could add a complementary or related service that supports your current gig (think graphic design if you write web content or pet sitting if you babysit) or take on tasks that allow you to unwind, work off energy or exercise your creativity. Think outside of the box and find a gig in a niche that meets your financial needs. Here are a few gig ideas.
- Rent your vehicle, parking spot or garage
- Deliver groceries or pizzas
- Tutor or babysit children
- Shovel snow
- Design websites or graphics
- Clean houses or commercial offices
- Offer handy-person services
- Manage social media accounts
3. Sell Stuff You Don’t Need
Spend a few hours selling items you no longer use, need or want. There’s no limit to what you can sell because there’s a market for almost everything. That’s why you want to check your closets, garage and attic for like-new, gently-used or vintage items. Examples include clothing, shoes, kitchen gadgets, collectibles, technology devices and accessories, sports equipment, toys, and workout gear.
Then, list your stuff online. Take pictures of each item from all angles and write engaging yet detailed descriptions with measurements, flaws and unique features. Your effort in selling your stuff can bring in extra cash to pay down your holiday spending bills.
Repay your holiday spending spree with three strategies that also help you manage your daily budget all year.
About the Author: Jennifer Turner writes web content for a variety of clients. As a gig worker, she understands the benefits and challenges of the industry, which is why she prioritizes daily self-care. Find her at WriterAccess.