Ah, the Christmas financial hangover. It’s a real thing. But if your purse strings are feeling a little tight or your bank balance has developed a spot of Seasonal Affective Disorder, we’ve come up with eight genius (if we do say so ourselves) ways for you to get your budget back on track post-Santa.
1.Say no to your vices
Vice is such a serious word – probably because all vices can do serious damage to your bank account. Whether it’s smoking (which you should definitely quit regardless), Friday night wines (that may or may not turn into Friday night cocktails), daily coffees from your local café, buying lunch out every day, or unnecessary online shopping, if you can eliminate just one vice you’re bound to find yourself with extra cash in the piggy bank.
2.Throw a potluck dinner party
OK, we get it, you have friends. And you’d probably like to eat and drink and be merry with your friends too. But instead of heading out on the town and blowing your week’s savings on an expensive Japanese banquet or that dessert you really didn’t need, why not consider throwing a potluck dinner party at your house?
Potluck basically means every guest brings a dish. So instead of spending a fortune at the supermarket buying enough groceries to feed 10 hungry adults (and probably a handful of kids), you only need to prepare one dish. Delicious, social, and cheap as chips.
3.Learn to say no without FOMO
This is a life lesson that we all ought to get around at some point. Learning to say no, without any trace of FOMO or regret, is actually very liberating. It involves setting grown-up boundaries and sticking to them. Your mental health will thank you, and your wallet will thank you too.
Remember that chicken casserole you made last night? And the spaghetti bolognese you fed the kids on Monday? Well, don’t let that goodness go to waste. Reheating your dinnertime leftovers is both thrifty and waste-friendly. Either chuck the remainders in the freezer for a rainy day or think of a way to re-use the meal. Take that bolognese for example, ditch the spaghetti tomorrow and eat it on baked potatoes with cheese, sour cream and chives. And don’t let those sad, neglected vegetables in your fridge go to waste – make a batch of soup. It’s as easy as cooking the veg, adding water and stock, and blending it all up.
These days all we seem to do is subscribe to things. Whether it’s the latest streaming site, a new app, or another email newsletter, it’s probably time to check your subscriptions and opt-out of any that’s costing you cash dollars. Not only does it save you coin but it feels really cathartic, like a good online purging.
6.Have a “no-spend day” once (or more!) a week
Sometimes it feels nice to spend money. Even if you’re just treating yourself to a naughty afternoon coffee. But those items all add up over time. Instead, nominate one day per week where you commit to spending zero dollars. This will form into a beneficial habit over time and also result in you being more mindful every time you reach for your wallet.
7.Eat meat in moderation
We’re not necessarily advocating for vegetarianism or veganism, but reducing your meat consumption will not only do good for the environment but it will also save you some pretty pennies. Meat, after all, is rather expensive. Maybe moderation to you means eating meat in only one meal per day or maybe it’s only three times per week. Whatever works for you.
8.Give the kids some freebies
And by freebies, we mean free activities. Santa has just been bearing presents, and the weather is warm outside, so why not take the little ones to the beach or the park this weekend? Not only are these places free, but you can also pack a picnic lunch and cut costs even further. You can take them to the (exorbitantly expensive) zoo next month – when you’ve got the books balanced again.
Looking for some more fun summer activities for the kiddies? Click here!