(WPRI) -- Post-holiday debt can be considered as much of a tradition as holiday shopping, but trimming costs right now can help you stash some cash before Black Friday rolls around.
First off, stop paying for text messages, and potentially overage fees, with a variety of free texting apps.
"You'll tap into all of that through an app on your phone as opposed to using standard messaging on your phone, free of charge," said financial expert Robert Long. "The only thing you'll have to put up with are some ads here and there."
Another great tip is to dig into your wallet to find and sell unwanted gift cards. The average household has about $300 worth, and even though an online gift card exchange won't give you the full value of the card, it's better than nothing.
It's also a good idea to adjust your tax withholding, rather than wait for the usual big refund in the spring.
"That's money the government, of course, is giving back to you in the spring. But why let the IRS hold onto it all year long?" asks Long. "You could be saving or investing that money, or earning some interest along the way, or spending it on worthwhile ventures, such as holiday gifts."
It's as simple as filing a new W-4 form with your employer. The changes can take effect in your next paycheck, and could put almost $500 in your bank account over the next two months.
Clever checkbook management can also lead to extra Christmas cash. When paying bills each month, round down the bank balance to the next even amount. For example, $545 to $500. You can write a dummy check for that $45 and deduct it, then don't cash it until you need it for Christmas gifts.
If your daily indulgence includes a latte from your favorite coffee shop, bypass the craving and instead put that money you'd be spending into a jar. You'll have quite a stash once the holidays roll around.
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