How to Recover from Holiday Spending
Post Date Dec 16, 2022

How to Recover from Holiday Spending

Did you overspend on gifts this holiday season? According to the National Retail Federation, consumers spent $312 on presents in the 5 days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday last year. Clearly, lots of us overspend on holidays and that’s because the majority of us don’t set up a budget for holiday spending habits and expenses ahead of time. If you have six people on your holiday shopping list, it would be wiser to decide in November – or better yet, now – how much you’ll spend on each. If your maximum is $100 per, you know right this moment that $600 is how much you need to have saved before you start shopping next holiday season. (Although you might want to save a little more for shipping, if indeed you have to mail any gifts, and really prevent a holiday spending hangover.)

Prevent holiday debt for next holiday season

Planning for holiday expenses will keep your gift giving going while keeping your holiday overspending under control. At this point, though, you need to recover, save money, consolidate debt, and pay down any holiday debt and credit card debt from this year’s holiday season holiday spending. You could meet with a financial advisor at your bank or use some of the following ways to get back on track financially.

Assess your credit card situation

Young couple having coffee and looking at their cell phones.

Oh credit card debt. Easy to get into, especially during the holiday season, and tough to get out of.

What to do: Log on and check your credit card bill statements. If there’s a holiday spending charge you don’t recognize, handle it pronto. You don’t need to be paying for holiday spending that's not yours! Make a note of the balance on each of your credit cards and total them up. This way there will be no surprises in January, and you can prepare now. Also, note the interest rate for each credit card. Pay down the one with the highest rate first. For the cards with lower interest rates, make just the minimum payment (or, if possible, pay more than the minimum monthly payment) while you work toward paying down the higher rate card. Once that holiday debt is paid off, take the money that’s now freed up and put it toward the next debt. Repeat as needed. The faster you do this, the lower your interest payments will be.

In addition, you can consider taking a personal loan. The best have rates starting at 4%, far better than the 13% to 20% on a credit card.

Return unwanted gifts

Happy young woman with lush dark hair sitting outside on some steps and using her smartphone.

Did you get something this holiday season that you don’t like or can’t use? Probably. So, return it. Even if you only get store credit for your returns, it’s worth the effort. At some point you’ll be able to use the credit for something you do like and can use and it won’t cost you anything to do so. 

Sell gifts you don’t like that you can’t return

Young adult man in a white tee shirt with yellow headphones draped around his neck talking on a cell.

Never before has it been easier to sell stuff, and brand-new stuff is the easiest to sell of all. (Especially after the holiday season when those who didn't get what they were hoping for are eager to buy it for themselves.) Craig’s List, eBay, Facebook Marketplace are all easy-to-use options. But don’t forget consignment shops! Those mom-and-pop businesses deserve our support and are usually delightful to work with. Be careful though. Once you see how easy it is to make money with a consignment shop, you’ll be tearing through your closet, grabbing items you haven’t worn in years, and bringing them in. Just don’t hurt your back lugging those bags!

Donate what you can’t sell

Woman in a blue and white striped shirt pointing something out to her male companion who's holding a cell phone.

Get a receipt, and it’s a tax write-off.

Sell gift cards you can’t use

Young adult woman in a yellow shirt with white dots walking down a city street holding a cell phone.

You’re a Starbucks fan stuck with several Dunkin Donuts gift cards. Or maybe you received a gift card to Bloomingdale’s, Cracker Barrel, or Old Navy and there isn’t one near you for fifty miles. Sell them for cash at sites like Gift Card Granny or Card Cash. Then take the extra money and put it toward your credit card bills.

Challenge yourself to a no-spend January

Young woman with dark hair wearing trendy pink glasses and smiling at something on her cell phone.

Sure, you’ll still have to buy gas and groceries and other essentials, but a no-spend month is a great way to reign in the little extras monthly expenses that add up and January is the perfect time to undertake this endeavor. It can be fun, too, particularly if you get a group of friends or coworkers to do it with you. Together you and your friends can find things to do that don’t cost anything, and you and your coworkers can support each other in not going out for lunch every day. Keep track of what you didn’t do and the amount of you saved by not doing it then total it up at the end of the month. The amount of money you can save this way will astound you.

Use the gift cards you like

Young woman in a purple shirt and glasses smiling as she walks along looking at her phone.

If you received gift cards you can actually use, to your favorite nail salon or hair salon, favorite restaurant, wine shop or other retailer, use them during no-spend January to reward yourself for being so fiscally responsible.

Start preparing your tax return

Pretty dark haired young woman wearing glasses sitting on a sofa sending a text.

Nothing says “don’t spend money” like preparing your tax return. It literally kills the desire to go shopping. Focus on your tax return and, if you get a great refund, plan to use most (if not all) of it to pay down your credit cards or start an emergency fund.

Check your credit score

Coming off the holidays with holiday identity theft rampant, it’s important to stay on top of your credit score. If you see something incorrect or something you don’t recognize, the sooner you report it the better.

Reduce other expenses

Cable television. Magazines. Gym memberships. Weight loss and meditation apps. These and other monthly bills are subscriptions so many of us forget about, but still get charged for. Set aside time to review your credit card statements and checking account statements and you might be amazed at the number of items you thought you cancelled but are still paying for. Don’t have time to do it yourself? That’s ok. Try Truebill. The site searches forgotten subscriptions on your behalf quickly and easily. But just be aware that for every dollar you save by using the service, Truebill takes 40% as what it calls a “savings fee.” So if they save you $500 annually on a particular bill, they’ll charge you $200.

Switch cell phone carriers

Oh the pricy wireless providers. Contracts. Hassles. And ridiculously overpriced. Forget them and save yourself a bunch by switching to H2O Wireless.

At just $25 a line, H2O Wireless gives you great coverage, more than enough data, and unlimited international talk and text (plus a $5 international talk credit), so you can keep in touch with family and friends around the globe and they can keep in touch with you!

Enjoy Multi-Line Savings         

Connect your friends and family to get Multi-Line savings with 2 lines for $50 or 4 lines for $100. Each line comes with 6 GB of LTE data so you can stream, listen, and do what you do at $25 per line.

Here’s Exactly What Every Line Gets...

  • 6 GB of LTE Data
  • Unlimited Data, Talk & Text
  • Unlimited International Talk to 70 Countries
  • Unlimited International Text
  • $5 International Talk Credit

Here’s Exactly What You Don’t Get…

  • Contracts
  • Hassles
  • Headaches!

With H2O Wireless, you get the best cell phone coverage for less and the best unlimited plans – not to mention the most cost-effective, realistically priced unlimited plans – anywhere.

Or, choose our 12 month plan for just $8.33 a month!

With H2O Wireless’ 12 Month Plan, you purchase service once and you’re done for the year. No worrying about missing a payment or tracking the expense. You simply make a one-time payment of $100 using your credit or debit card, and that’s it. Our 12 Month Plan breaks down to crazy low $8.33 a month, and gives you an entire year of unlimited talk and text, as well as 1GB of high-speed data every month. There are no other payments to make or additional steps to take. Plus there’s no contract and no hidden fees.

A word about “unlimited data”

With so many cellular phone businesses vying for your money, it’s difficult to tell which you can trust. The overpriced services clamber, “Pick me!” with promises of low cost, unlimited data plans. But do you really need an unlimited amount of data? Will you use all of that data? Maybe. But if you don’t, guess what? You still have to pay for it.

If you’re on a $70 a month plan which gives you up to 23GB of data it means you’re paying $3.04 per GB of data. And if you’re using just 4GB a month (which is what most people typically use), you’re paying $57.40 per month for data you’re not using. Ouch.   

The truth is…

Most people use just 2-5GB of data per billing cycle, and that’s because you’d have to spend every waking moment, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week online to exceed that amount. The average consumer doesn’t do that, and that’s why the average consumer doesn’t need a $50, $60 or $70 a month unlimited plan!

At H2O Wireless, we don’t think you should pay for data you don’t need and aren’t going to use.

That’s why we’re proud to offer you plans starting as low as $18 a month (with auto pay) for unlimited talk and text and 2GB of data.

Need more data one month? Simply go into your account portal and add more. When next month rolls around, if you need less data, you can go right back into your portal and reduce it. Simply log onto, click on My Account, and select Manage My Data. Make your changes, save them, and log out. It’s that simple.

Plus, H2O Wireless Connects You to the World

Each H2O Wireless Monthly Unlimited Plan includes unlimited international talk to 70 Countries (including China and Mexico), unlimited text to any country in the world, and up to $5 international talk credit depending on the plan you select. 

Purchase these features whenever you need:

International Talk

You can purchase International Talk for your plan for $5 or $10. Simply log into your account to make this purchase.

International Roaming

You can purchase International Roaming for your plan. This can be used for talk minutes, text, or MMS.

5G / 4G Data

You can purchase additional high speed data for your plan. Get 2GB for $10 or 5GB for $20.

Hotspot Data

Share your cellular data via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or USB using laptops, tablets, and more by purchasing Hotspot Data for your plan. Get 2GB for $10, 5GB for $20, or 10GB for $30.

More reasons to love H2O Wireless: Refer a Friend

When you join H2O Wireless, you can take advantage of our Refer a Friend (RAF) referral program. It enables you to share the H2O love and lower your bill! Share the H2O love with enough friends, and you might not even have a bill.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Spread the Word

Get your unique referral link, then send it to friends and family.

Step 2: Sign Them Up

Help your friend select an H2O Wireless Plan.

Step 3: Get Rewarded

Once your friend activates their H2O service, you each get rewarded with $20 in RAF rewards points.


What is the Refer a Friend Program?

Refer a Friend is the H2O® Wireless referral program in which you and a friend get $20 of H2O points for each activated referral.

When are H2O points applied to my account?

When the person referred activates their H2O Wireless service your rewards points will be applied. Please note: For Port-Ins, points will be received within 1-5 business days.

Do I get referral points if I just tell a friend about H2O?

No. They need to use your referral link.

How many people can I refer?

You can refer up to 10 people per month, which is a total of 120 referrals per year, for thousands of dollars’ worth of reward points. So many rewards points they might pay for your H2O service!

More reasons to love H2O Wireless: Bring Your Own Phone

Have a phone you love? H2O Wireless makes it easy to bring it with you. Simply join H2O Wireless and, at checkout, choose eSIM. Like a physical SIM card, but without the 3-5 day wait for a physical card to arrive, eSIM enables you to use your new service much faster. In fact, you can activate your service right after checking out. Of course, before you select eSIM, make sure your phone is eSIM compatible by reviewing the list below.

Is my phone eSIM compatible?

eSIM compatible phone models include:

  • iPhone XS series
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11 series
  • iPhone SE 2nd gen
  • iPhone 12 series

With H2O Wireless it’s easy to stay connected to your family, friends, work, your favorite shows, podcasts, news outlets – your whole world – for less. That’s what makes us refreshingly. different. wireless.

See for yourself today!