Breathe Life into Your Bank Account: 9 Ways to Save Money in January

Every month of the year offers a unique opportunity to save money. If you're like most shoppers, you're watching your budget in January after a season of holiday shopping. The following tips are creative ways to help you get your finances back on track in January.

Hit the After-Christmas Sales

Shopping bags in the trunk of the car
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Taking advantage of the after-Christmas sales is a great way to save on next year's gifts and decorations, but the savings don't have to stop there. Look for reduced-price candy, baking supplies, gift sets (with products you use), and basics like soap and cleaners that have been marked down simply because they're in holiday packaging:

Snatch Up Holiday Returns

Ever wonder what happens to all those holiday gifts that get returned? Some of them return to the sales floor, but a lot of them get marked down and sold as open-box merchandise or shipped to discount stores like TJ Maxx, Marshall's, or Ross. That makes January an ideal time to start trawling stores for deals.

Shop at Thrift Stores

Thrift stores get swamped with donations in December because people want to make last-minute tax deductions, and that means a lot of new inventory in January. Swing by your favorite thrift shop for some of the best deals of the year:

Buy Discounted Gift Cards

Gift cards are a popular holiday gift, but they don't always hit the mark. Fortunately, sites like Gift Card Granny make a business of buying unwanted gift cards and turning around and selling them at a discount. You can go to their website and set up alerts for your favorite stores, and they'll send you an email as soon as they have the card (or cards) you want:

Take Advantage of January Sales

Electronics, sneakers, and furniture are just a few of the numerous items that go on sale in January. Scan this complete list of what's on sale to see if anything you need is on the best deals list.

Print This Month's Coupons

Most coupon sites reset their coupons monthly. Take a few minutes to peruse the offerings and then print or download the coupons you want:

Eat What's in Season

Eating seasonally is a great way to keep your grocery bill down, and believe it or not, there are actually quite a few fruits and vegetables that are in season in the dead of winter.

Dial Down Your Heating Bill

As you enter the coldest time of the year, now's the time to get serious about getting those costly heating bills down.

Start the Year with a Fresh Budget

Life changes from year to year, so your budget should change, too. Print out a copy of the Build-a-Budget Worksheet and get that new year budget drafted today.