3 Ways to Recover From a Blown Budget After the Holidays

by Ashley Eneriz · 6 comments

blown budget holidays

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!

recover from blown budget1. 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.

  1. First, find out which big items you can sell and then list those on Craigslist.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 }

  • 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

  • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

    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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