The biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday, has come and gone again – and dented our wallets in the process. If you went a little overboard on Black Friday shopping for your family and friends, you may be wondering “How can I budget for the rest of the year without going broke?”
Here are 5 budgeting secrets to help you recover from that Black Friday shopping session.
Try not to eat out.
Avoiding our favorite restaurants may be hard to do, but it’s definitely worth it. After all, we all have hectic lives and busy schedules. Meal-prepping, though, is a wonderful way to resist that fast-food urge. Meal prepping can be fun and enjoyable because you can cook all your favorite meals in bulk, and you’ll end up with several days worth of meals that you know you’ll enjoy. With meal-prepping, it’s easy to control your budget – pick what you would like ahead of time and check to make sure that it’s in your price range.
Save your change.
Most likely, when you pay for that Frappucino or grocery bill in cash, you receive change back – save it! If you collect all of the change that you receive (whether it’s coins or bills), you’ll be well on your way to saving up for the new year. Place your change in a safe, memorable place (like a jar), so when you are short on money, you can simply grab some cash and use the money you saved up. You’d be surprised how much money you can collect if you simply save your change!
Use cash instead of your card.
It’s extremely convenient to use debit or credit cards when you’re out and about, but you are more likely to overspend that way. If you count how much cash you have before you head out for the day, you will know exactly how much you have to spend. Once you run out, well, it looks like you can’t buy anything else!
Giving back to others is a great way to keep your mind off of spending money. Instead of going shopping or hitting up the movies when you have free time, share your time with those who are in need. There are multiple ways you can volunteer in your community, especially during the holiday season. Most people choose to volunteer their time, skills, or knowledge. Helping those who need it most provides many people with a sense of gratitude and joy. You never know how much another person may need a helping hand.
Pick up extra shifts or jobs.
Many people try to pick up extra shifts or even another job during the holiday season in order to make ends meet and get a little extra money in their pockets. Some people will simply just ask their supervisors or co-workers if they can pick up some extra hours. Others may look for a side job such as dog-walking or pet-sitting. Working more hours may become a little draining, but the reward!
If your wallet’s hurting from your Black Friday spending spree, there are so many ways you can get your budget back on track. Start saving now, and you’re sure to have a (financially) happy, healthy start to the new year!