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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.

True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

Terence Power / TikTok

A video of a busker in Dublin, Ireland singing "You've Got a Friend in Me" to a young boy with autism is going viral because it's just so darn adorable. The video was filmed over a year ago by Terence Power, the co-host of the popular "Talking Bollox Podcast."

It was filmed before face masks were required, so you can see the boy's beautiful reaction to the song.

Power uploaded it to TikTok because he had just joined the platform and had no idea the number of lives it would touch. "The support on it is unbelievable. I posted it on my Instagram a while back and on Facebook and the support then was amazing," he told Dublin Live.

"But I recently made TikTok and said I'd share it on that and I'm so glad I did now!" he continued.

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True

We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

This sweet story is brought to you by Sumo Citrus®. This oversized mandarin is celebrated for its incredible taste and distinct looks. Sumo Citrus is super-sweet, enormous, easy-to-peel, seedless, and juicy without the mess. Fans of the fruit are obsessive, stocking up from January to April when Sumo Citrus is in stores. To learn more, visit sumocitrus.com and @sumocitrus.

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Teachers spend time preparing lesson plans and trying to engage students in learning. The least a kid can do is stay awake in class, right?

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via Ken Lund / Flickr

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The display was planned by a group of around 40 LGBT students to mark the one-year anniversary of the university sending out a letter clarifying its stance on homosexual behavior.

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