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Queen of Free's post-holiday checklist

Cherie Lowe's after-Christmas money checklist will help you start the new year off on the right foot.

INDIANAPOLIS — As many of us emerge from the holiday fog, we may discover that we've lost track of a few important goals and maybe gone over our budget on a few things.

Cherie Lowe, the Queen of Free, said on 13Sunrise that now is the time to get back on track for the new year and clean up your finances.

In her weekly blog, she lists five categories to help you tackle the tasks that will help you steer back toward your goals.

Process gifts and gift cards

"If you received something that wasn’t the right size, color, or fragrance, don’t let it grow roots in your home," Lowe said. Return or exchange it for what you can use, and find its new home in your home or somebody else's.

If you received gift cards or money, cash or deposit the gift checks and check the gift card balances. If you can load the card balance onto an app, do that so you can toss the card and have the funds ready to use. If the card doesn't have an app, write the value directly on the card with a Sharpie and keep it where you will see it and use it.

Checkbook maintenance

"Reconcile your spending and begin to think about the month ahead when it comes to your bills," Lowe said. "Before you make any financial goals or plans, this simple step can’t be skipped."

Christmas clearance

If you have some gift money or a few extra bucks in the checking account, try to take advantage of after-Christmas clearance sales on décor, cards and paper goods that will store in a tote and be ready for next season.

Pantry clearance

You probably have some items in your fridge or pantry that will not last until next season, so do a purge of holiday leftovers and freeze or plan to consume anything that still has value.

Going back to basics sets you up for a fresh start in 2023.

Watch her 13Sunrise segment in the video player.


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