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How to recover financially after holiday expenses

Financial debt from seasonal overspending ranks as the number one post-holiday issues consumers dread after January.

Luckily there are some simple ways to undo some of the damage with these tactics.

Sell Gift Cards You’ll Never Use

Considering that 50% of consumers purchase holiday gift cards, chances are you received at least a couple in your stocking.If you’d rather have money to pay down holiday debt, then you’ve got options. You can re-sell these to friends or colleagues or simply swap them with for something you will actually use.


Return Presents You’re Not So Thrilled With

After the holidays, many retailers relax their usual policies when it comes to returns. The catch is, if you don’t have a receipt, it’s going to be tough scoring store credit for the item. But it’s worth a shot. If you strike out, try getting a gift card, you can still sell that online for actual cash.


Make the Most of Your Credit Card Perks

If you can, use any points you’ve earned from making holiday purchases to help pay off the balances you’ve accrued for those gifts. But if you find that you never redeem your points, then consider switching to a cash-back card.

With so many types of cash-back cards to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know which is right for you. A good starting place is to compare various cards, which assesses your options based on your particular spending patterns.


Sell Gifts over the Internet

The online marketplace for previously owned goods is skyrocketing. And stuff that’s still in the original packaging or has tags attached can fetch premium prices. There are always plenty of Facebook community pages you can try selling or swapping vouchers.


Go the Re-gifting Route

Feel guilty wrapping up that scented body lotion from your aunt and giving it to a coworker on her birthday? Passing along presents you don’t want won’t put money in your pocket—but it lets you save what you have rather than spending for gifts this year.

Go through your stash of things and see what you can give and to whom in the coming months. Is it something the recipient would genuinely appreciate? Is it brand new? Are you sure it isn’t engraved or monogrammed? Then you’re good to go, and the recipient doesn’t have to know you didn’t actually pay for it.

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