3 Ways to Recover From a Blown Budget After the Holidays

by Ashley Eneriz · 7 comments

Now that the Christmas and holiday splendor has settled down, I’m sure you’re looking at your bank statements and credit card bills with wide eyes. It’s all too easy to go overboard during the holidays. While a holiday budget would have been ideal, now that the season is over, it’s a bit too late for that.

So, what can you do to get yourself back on track financially after the holidays? How can you recover from overspending quickly?

Here are the top 3 ideas, that I will be implementing myself this month. I hope you’ll join me!

1. Sell, Sell, Sell

I know I probably sound like a broken record by continually recommending that you declutter your house and sell like crazy. But it’s one of the best ways to get rid of extra stuff you won’t use, and make a dent in the amount you overspent during the holidays.

It’s also my favorite way to help boost any financial situation in a quick pinch. I always do this process in a couple of different steps.

  • First, find out which big items you can sell and then list those on Craigslist.
  • Next, look through every closet for brand-name clothing that can be sold on eBay. Right before Christmas, I sold some Baby Gap pants, Puma toddler shoes, and other outgrown baby items. Many people may have overlooked selling these things because with shipping, a pair of 2T pants and toddler shoes earns about $5-7. This may not seem worth the effort, but it really adds up. As you go through the family’s closets, snap pictures of the item on your smartphone. It takes 5-10 minutes to list something on eBay with a phone, and if it doesn’t sell in three weeks, then you can save it to sell at your yearly yard sale or donation.
  • Lastly, request a bag from Thredup.com or Kindermint.com and pack them with clothes that your family doesn’t need. Most of the items that don’t sell in steps 1 and 2, will be hand-me downs or 50-cent finds, so I don’t mind if these sites only give me a dollar or two for them.

2. Commit to a No Spend January

Have you ever done a no-spend month? It may be hard but it’s totally worth it. Basically, the idea is that you cut frivolous spending (no fast food, home décor buys, clothes, etc), and eat out of your pantry, fridge, and freezer for the entire month.

You can give yourself $20-40 a week to spend on milk, eggs, bread, and other fresh necessities at the grocery store. I will be doing this in January because my pantry and freezer are nicely stocked from the holiday meals.

This is a perfect time to use up the food items that may have forgotten about (and I plan to use this as a food declutter before our new baby arrives in February). Also, an extra $300-400 would be nice to put towards any credit card debt, or replenish savings accounts, since you won’t be buying groceries.

3. Earn Income on the Side

My husband and I are both blessed to have open-ended jobs. He’s welcomed to do overtime anytime he wants, and I can always increase my freelance load whenever I want.

I can also always fall back on my methods of reselling kid clothes, from yard sales and thrift stores, if I really want to. Do you have other ways to earn side income? There are so many ideas out there, so if you need extra money, I encourage you to be creative.

Perhaps you can ask your employer for overtime opportunities, or take on a small babysitting position. Everyone still has their Christmas lights up, perhaps you can offer to take them down. Even something like renting out your home, or car, can produce a good amount of extra income.

Recovering from a high spending month like the holiday season can be tough, but with these steps you can overcome a blown budget in a short period of time.

What’s another idea you use to recover from the holiday season? How are you planning to get back on track this month?

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{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Sara Kent says:

    Just as my instinct had told me, but was too blinded by love…my husband is sleeping with my best friend. O God! He is even in love with her. I even was informed about this by an attendant at one of the grocery stores I patronize, but rebuked her rudely and angrily because I taught she had an eye on my husband. Times went on and days went past…I was living a life of ”blinded by love”. My husband and I have been married for 3 years now and I was surprised when I found out he has been living a ”happily married life” of pretence and deceit with me just because of my financial flamboyancy. This was how I found out about them (my husband and my best friend)…There was going to be a dinner for couples that resided in the estate, since it was the estate feast day. But I was down with an unknown illness so I told my husband that we wouldn’t be able to make it to the dinner due to my condition and he agreed (this was on a Monday morning and the dinner was dated for Friday). The next day, I called my dad and complained to him about my illness which the doctor had examined and told me there wasn’t anything wrong with me, of which i knew wasn’t true because I was going through hell inside of my body. My dad told me not to worry and asked me to contact our long time known herbal doctor (Dr. Payo Shalo) (who has been God sent to my family in terms of spiritual help; he helped cure my dad off cancer, my mom off fibroid, my brother was awarded a contract with the world bank, just by his spells) on his email (payospiritsshalospells”AT”yahoo”DOT”com) which I did. I didn’t get a reply from him till Thursday morning which he explained and blamed on his busy schedules with other of his customers that sought spiritual help. We swung into actions with the procedures of getting me cured of this unknown killer disease that was bent on getting rid of my life. I did all I was instructed by the doctor (herbal). On Friday morning, my husband woke up and told me he was going to be away for about 3 days on a business conference. When he left, I contacted the doctor for the final rites. When everything was done, by 1:45pm just as the doctor had promised, I was well again. I called my dad and informed him about this miracle. I went to my parent’s house which I haven’t been able to do in a long while because of the illness…everyone was happy. I was with my parents till evening, and after having dinner with them, I went to bed. Just as I was going to sleep, I got a call from a neighbour in my estate telling me that she could just see my husband with another lady at the estate’s dinner for couples. I couldn’t believe what she was telling me. Immediately, I drove to the venue and my eyes saw my ears… my husband just leaving in his car with my best friend. I couldn’t believe my eyes, so I tailed them for about 15mins and they drove into a hotel…hmmm. I went back to my apartment and without hesitation I called Dr. Payo Shalo and told him of what I just found out. I told him I needed an urgent spell to make my husband develop sudden hatred for my best friend and immediately come back to me as soon as then. The doctor told me what to do, late that night, I got everything done. At about 3:18am on Saturday morning, my door opened. Who is this in my house this early? …My husband? In tears, he is confessing all he had been doing with my best friend and asking me to forgive him and accept him as the husband he used to be … I wept my eyes out. I immediately forgave him for I love him with all my heart. Now, my husband and I are living faithfully to each other and my illness, gone forever. Are you in need of any kind of spiritual, medical, financial help? Please contact Dr. Payo Shalo on the above email address for your rapid solutions. (Re-write the email in its right form)

  • lana says:

    We pretty much stayed on budget, but when I get an itch to shop I drop off donations at my favorite shop and check it out for good bargains. Today I found a $90 black velvet blazer for $2! It hit the spot!

    I’ve decided to do no spend Wednesdays. It makes me more aware of money on the days I do spend.

    • Ashley Eneriz says:

      I love the idea of no spend Wednesday – what a clever idea. And woo-hoo to the blazer. Getting those kind of deals is such a rush – just ask my husband how much I talk his ear off when I find good deals at the thrift store or find tons of organic chicken breasts marked down 50% haha

  • Our December spending wasn’t too bad, but, it’s still always good to earn more. I’d like to start selling some of our old stuff since the Craigslist in our area is very active. I just need to buckle down and start organizing!

    I put myself on a clothes-buying ban for all of 2014 and I’m actually going to continue it for 2015. I’m so pleased with the money I saved and the insights I gained, that I think it’ll be great to commit for another year.

    Eating all of the freezer and pantry food is also a wonderful idea! We did that in the spring and it was a great exercise, plus, it helped us refine our grocery shopping. We realized we’d bought quite a bit of stuff that we just weren’t eating on a regular basis. Our grocery expenses are now much lower because we’re just buying what we know we’ll eat.

    • Ashley Eneriz says:

      The clothing ban idea sounds amazing! I am so guilty of buying things I don’t need at the grocery store too. It took about five wasted Costco sized boxes of organic spinach to realizes I was not eating enough to justify the purchase (I’m a slow learner haha)

  • Lulu says:

    I have had a hard time selling on eBay in the past and had more success with taking things to consignment stores. You may want to encourage your readers to try out consignment stores if they have them nearby. Great post.

    • Ashley Eneriz says:

      That is awesome that you have had success with consignment stores. When it comes to selling stuff, it always seems to depend on the location, item, etc. For example, I can sell kid’s stuff easily on a local FB site, but when it comes to Craigslist and consignment, the area I live in is definitely lacking. 🙂

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