The holidays have come and gone, and while many of us are continuing to enjoy the wonderful gifts bestowed upon us, those pesky post-holiday bills are a real pain. If you have gift cards waiting to be used, presents still to return or a budget that took a hit, our Smart Shopping Expert, Trae Bodge, is at your rescue. Here, Trae gives us her tips and tricks to getting our personal finances back on track. One of her easiest tips: shopping online through Splender, where you can find great deals and even receive cash back rewards on all of your future purchases.
Now, let’s start the New Year off on the right foot and get a handle on your post-holiday bills!
- Make Returns
If you have any returns to make, be sure to keep them in the most pristine condition as possible—tags should be left on and outer packaging should be undamaged. Try to get those returns sent back to the store within 30 days, so that you get the full value of your return and avoid a hassle with customer service.
- Take Advantage of January Sales
When shopping, try to buy things that are the most deeply discounted throughout the month of January. Think ‘New year, new you’. Expect incredible sale prices on winter apparel, fitness equipment and beauty items such as gifts sets that may not have sold out over the holiday season.
There will be a lot of “white sales” this month, so you’ll find great deals on household linens like sheets, towels and blankets, too. Outfit your home with a fresh new look from stores such as bambeco (6% cash back), Kohl’s (4% cash back) and Macys.com (4% cash back).
- Exchange Gift Cards
We all love receiving gift cards, but sometimes we receive one for a store that we never shop at. So, go online and use a gift card exchange to send in your current gift card for one you’ll actually want to use. You may lose a little bit of the value from the one you’re turning in, but at least you’ll have some cash to spend at a store you actually like!
- Pay Off Holiday Credit Card Debt
Americans planned to spend an average of $935 during the holiday shopping season and, ultimately, much of this spending wound up on credit cards, making credit card debt one of the most stressful things about the holidays.
To pay off your credit card debt, first focus on the credit cards that have the highest annual percentage rate (APR) rather than the cards with the highest balance. For instance, if you have a credit card with an APR of 25% versus one with say 7%, focus on the higher one first. Otherwise, you’ll negate all of the savings efforts you’ve made like looking for coupons and getting cash back offers.
- Let Your Computer Do the Work
A great New Year’s resolution is shopping smart throughout the year. Now, you can sit back, relax and let your computer do the work for you with a desktop extension. Once you install a web browser extension like Splender Plus, it will automatically look for everything from coupons to cash back offers as you shop, so you’ll never miss an opportunity to save!