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5 things you can do to catch up if you overspent on the holidays.

It's easy to overspend. Here's how to reel things back in.

5 things you can do to catch up if you overspent on the holidays.

Oh, January. How we love you and also hate you.

It's so good to have the hubbub from the holidays fading out and a slower pace setting in, but then the bills come. Whether you put holiday spending on credit or are just short on cash from the constant outpour that seems to happen, some strategies for pulling ahead financially could come in handy.

Here are five relatively easy things you could do to generate some cash and dig out faster.


1. Play with some dogs.

If you love dogs and you can have them at your place, why not take in some darling pooches on the weekends or other times when you'll be home? It's work, but it's not work-work (because snuggles!).

Two sites where you can plug and play to get connected to customers looking for dogsitters are Rover.com and Dogvacay.com (some sites include other pets as well!). You can set your own rate based on the market around you (for instance, $40 per night, if that's the going rate) and the companies take a small percentage in return for insuring you and the dog.

Why is the Netflix all upside down? Image by Carlos Pacheco/Flickr.

2. Consider letting people pay to stay at your place for short stints.

If you're going to be gone for a trip yourself you can spiff the place up and Airbnb it. Or if you have a guest room and can handle being a thoughtful host, you can rent it out while you're home.

Airbnb is a site that lets residents and travelers connect to arrange temporary stays (as an alternative to a pricier hotel, usually). It's not without its risks, but you can screen potential guests by checking reviews from previous hosts they've stayed with. Another site that can connect you with temporary renters is Vacation Rental By Owner, but that's usually for solo access to your pad while you vacate the premises.

You don't have to have a swanky pad to host guests. Just a clean, comfy, fairly-priced space. Image via Lochoaymca/Wikimedia Commons.

3. Have that rummage sale now instead of waiting for the summer.

If you have an accumulation of items you're storing away with the intention of having one big weekend sale, try something different. Facebook features local rummage sale groups in nearly every city, and often the members sell items one at a time. So take a picture, post it, and see if anyone's interested. You could wind up with a cleaner home and extra cash for paying off your cards.

Screenshot from Facebook.

4. Teach a course online if you have a special set of skills to share.

Through Udemy or Skillshare, you can create a course based on skills you are proficient in and enroll online students. Are you able to teach coding, YouTube optimization, marketing basics, or social media strategy? You could be sitting on extra cash you can use to pay off debt!

Screenshot from Udemy.

5. Re-evaluate the level and scope of gifting you do annually.

Giving is so fun! It feels so good to have a little something for people you appreciate in your life. But the truth is, for a lot of us, it's become an unsustainable strain in this economy.

It's not worth it to push ourselves into debt to fulfill what we think we have to do to keep up with expectations.

Does your extended family give every adult family member gifts? Talk with them and let them know you'd rather do a gift exchange.

Consider handmade gifts. It sounds hokey but believe it or not, people often really love getting something so personal — it feels like being part of your real inner circle to get something someone made themselves.

I made jars of preserved lemons last year, and including all supplies, ingredients, and decorative ribbon, it cost me about $30 to have a little gourmet-something to give to about 15 people I wanted to have a gift for.

What tastes better than not being in debt? Image by Jules/Flickr.

With a little forethought and planning, you can set yourself up to spend much less next year and stop the cycle of debt.

Go forth, you generous gifter, you. May the winds of financial resourcefulness propel you forward.

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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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