The holiday season can be a great time to connect with friends and family, celebrate the end of the calendar year and the start of a new one, and generally take a break and refresh. Unfortunately, the holidays can also be a time where we spend our money a little more liberally than we might at other times with the reasoning of, “Hey, it’s Christmas! I can save later, let’s spend now!” If your wallets are feeling a bit lighter or credit card bills looking a bit longer, we’ve put together some tips to get you back on track for the new year.
1. Pay with Cash, Not Card
Studies have shown that we are often less likely to overspend if we pay with cash. In fact, one study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied showed that consumers tend to treat credit, debit, or gift cards like “monopoly money.” It is psychologically more painful to hand over cash than a credit card. Challenge yourself to use cash whenever possible for the next 30 days and see how many purchases you change your mind about before buying.
2. Consider Your Card Payments
You might be thinking, “that’s great, but what about my online payments?”. True, there are certain times it’s incredibly inconvenient or nearly impossible to pay by something other than a credit card. That’s okay. If that’s the case, and if we’re not talking about a utility bill, take 24 hours before you make the purchase. Leave the item in your online cart and think about it. If you still think it’s a good idea 24 hours later, make the purchase. Again, see how many purchases you decide not to make in the next 30 days.
3. Cut the Extras
If you’re someone who loves going out to eat or getting a fancy coffee every morning, consider taking a break this month. Buy ingredients in bulk at the store to save money (you can freeze if you have more than you need!), and try out a new recipe. My best recipe hack is referencing Hello Fresh recipes – over 2,500 simple, quick, delicious and cheap recipes available online with picture instructions FOR FREE. Make a big batch of soup or salsa chicken or whatever sounds good to you on the weekend and use that to meal prep for the week. Not only will you save money, but you’ll save time, too!
4. Get Cash Back
For those purchases we mentioned above that have to be made with a credit card, consider harnessing the power of Checkout Saver. You’ll save some money on each purchase you make, on qualifying websites, so you can feel a little better about using your card. (Remember, no other tool saves you money with Cashback, Auto Gift Cards, and One Time Coupons)
What money saving tactics do you use after the holidays? Or did you have some pre- or during-holiday saving plans? Let us know in the comments below!