In this post: Three easy adjustments to your daily living as ways to save money during the holiday season. It’s the little decisions that can help you stay on track!
Is it just me or is this the most expensive time of the year? It probably didn’t help that I moved the first weekend of December (moving is always expensive), but I looked at my bank account this morning and thought “wow, Leah, you really overdid it”.
I want to spoil the people I love with great gifts, eat out every night, and buy luxurious bath products for myself. That’s not too much to ask, right? HA.
Nope, financial well-being is all about the choices we make with our money. There are lots of definitions about financial well-being and I am no financial expert. For me, financial well-being means I am intentional about my spending choices and that I meet my savings goals. Daily, you have to watch your spending choices. Those $5 coffees I like to buy every day add up to $35 a week. Gems, it’s all about the little choices you make that can make a big difference.
Here are the three things that are helping me stay on track with my savings goals during the Holiday season. I’m confident they will be valuable tips for you as well!
Because this is the season of giving, I have decided that I am not buying myself any clothing, jewelry, books (maybe my biggest downfall), or beauty products for the month of December. Instead, I am choosing to focus my attention on spending my money for others and spending my time on myself. Most of my self-care rituals are free (going for a walk, journaling, calling my long-distance friends, reading books I already own or going to the library), so making sure to do them makes me feel well-loved.
When you’re feeling like online shopping (or whatever your spending downfall is), try to go for a walk or journal instead. Both are completely free and will help break the spending cycle in your brain! This is, by far, the hardest financial thing for me to do. But it is so, so worth it. Instead of looking back on this month with guilt, you’ll be proud of yourself for sticking to your goals!
I successfully did a shopping freeze last January and the biggest piece of advice I have is to stop going to places where you spend money on clothes, beauty products, etc. I stopped going to all my favorite stores because if I wasn’t there, I wasn’t tempted to buy things. It seems like a no-brainer, but that meant that instead of going to Target for cotton balls (which would turn into a new sweater, mascara, and a new shower curtain), I picked them up when I went grocery shopping. Is there anyone else out there that can’t seem to leave Target without spending at least $50?!
I have a big Starbucks addiction. Like, big. It’s right next to my work and, with mobile ordering, it is SO EASY to just get a grande Gingerbread Latte and a cake pop for lunch. However, it is so much better for my wallet (and my physical health!) to pack my lunch. On Sunday, I made a huge pot of chili and I’ve been eating that for lunch for the past few days. It’s yummy and more filling than my typical Starbucks fix, and it saves money. Win-win for sure.
Gem, I challenge you to start packing your lunch at night! I totally get that mornings are hectic, so take care of yourself the night before and you’ll have a delicious lunch ready to grab and go in the morning.
Girls Night In
I love going out to drinks with my friends. However, one drink leads to two and then with the tip the total can be quite high for just a casual Tuesday out. Instead of going out, I’m challenging myself to have people over to my apartment for a night in. It doesn’t have to be super fancy; just a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers is enough for me and the gals.
This time of year, I think it is fun to have a hot chocolate night and watch Christmas movies on Netflix. Invite some of your friends over for a Christmas movie night (my favorite is White Christmas!) and enjoying being together without all the expensive drinks/food.
Gems, do you struggle to keep your money in check this time of year? What have you been doing that helps keep you on track financially?