By Joanne Rosa
They might as well rename December to “Drop Your Savings” month.
It seems that every year, we tell ourselves we won’t over spend. Then, the bills come in January, and we are all broke until the spring (or worse). It’s almost a week into December, and chances are you’ve already done a good amount of damage in the spending department thanks to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Whether you haven’t started shopping, or you’ve dug yourself into a hole with the shopping you’ve done already, these tips will save yourself a pretty penny this month.
Put Brunches, Fancy Dinners, Takeout, Peppermint Mocha Lattes, and Happy Hour on Hold
We know what you’re thinking. “But how can I pass up bottomless mimosas and waffles!? How can I skip happy hour with my coworkers?! I NEED a latte before work!” Pull it together (we’re looking at you, millennials)! According to a study from The Cashroulette, millennials are going out for food and drinks way more often than they should. This is not the time of year to go about your normal business. This is the time of year to take those expendable things in life and put them out of sight and out of mind until the storm of sugar plums and holly has passed. Think about what you spend in those instances, and put it towards a gift for someone else. No one said the holidays were easy.
No Impulse Purchases
When you’re shopping for other people this time of year, it’s so easy to make impulse purchases, like that second food processor or those must-have boots. Impulse purchases can get you into serious trouble with your budget. Of course, you’ll convince yourself these purchases are a great idea at the time. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you end up using your impulse gift on a regular basis. Either way, it’s not a purchase you need to be making, and it will ruin your budget. You know you have plenty of gifts coming your way. Wait until after the holidays, return the useless gifts or the ones that don’t work for you, then buy a little something for yourself. OK?
Rethink Before You Commit to Parties
In a perfect world, we can go to all of the parties we want, dip it and do it until the sun rises, and do it all over again the next day. That would be great! In the words of Cardi B, “go to sleep and dream another dream.” That’s not your reality. The truth is, these parties cost you more than you’d probably like to spend. Figure out which parties you want to go to most, which ones you will see the most people that you want to see, and approximately how much each party will cost. Remember, you’ll probably have to bring food or a bottle of wine to the party too. Anyway, just don’t overbook yourself. You’ll end up broke, or disappointed, or both.
Tell Us: How do you cut down on costs during the holidays?