Father and daughter make Christmas crafts on porch.

DEBT-FREE FOR THE HOLIDAYS

What’s Holiday Recycling? It’s a term I’m using to explain how to save a lot of money on holiday gifts by recycling what you already own. Here’s how I did it: My dad got a new phone and gave me the old one to recycle or sell on ebay. Instead, I took it to a local electronics store, and traded it in for a $100 gift card, which I used to buy Christmas presents. Score!

I was happy for two reasons – the first was that this phone was not going to any questionable recyclers to be shipped who-knows-where and probably burned by impoverished people to get the precious metals.  It was going to be resold and used by someone else.  The second, of course, was that I was able to seriously cut down on my Christmas expenses.

You probably have last generation, working electronics lying around the house that still have some value.  The key is to turn them in as soon as you can so that you get the maximum amount. That old iPod or that old computer could be turned into a new present for someone on your list.

It’s not too late. Check out your local electronics store and see if they have trade-in programs. Most of them will let you enter the item and condition online and get an accurate estimate of the trade-in value. And if you have electronics that are either too old or are broken, don’t throw them in the trash (which is probably illegal in your area), take them to the store, too. Most will be happy to responsibly recycle them for you.

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