The holidays are coming and we all know what that means: spending lots of money on gifts, dinners, trips and extracurricular activities. But you don’t have to go broke trying to go for broke with fancy holiday gifts.
Here are six ways you can start saving hundreds of dollars a month, while also improving your quality of life.
Don’t spend more than $30 on any item of clothing. For some of us, this information is par for the course. Others (like me), need a little helping hand to not spend their whole paycheck on clothing (food and gas? who needs food and gas?) Check out Stores such as H&M, Forever 21, and Old Navy make it easy to buy cheap, stylish clothing. Estimated savings: $200 a month or more.
Party at home. Pre-game before going out or keep your parties at home. Places like Trader Joe’s have really great bottles of $8 wine. Instead of buying three glasses at a wine bar for double that price, you can have three bottles for you and five of your friends! Potlucks and game nights are fun too. Plus, it not only saves you money on food and drink, but gas, cabs, and wear-and-tear on your car! Estimated savings: $100 a month and up.
Give love coupons instead of gifts. The coupon can be open to anything the recipient wants or have any relatively inexpensive reward on them. Spending a day at the zoo with a couple of hot dogs and a desert of churros is a lot more exciting and memorable than an expensive dinner and a diamond necklace. Less glamorous, but gifts from the heart mean so much more. Estimated savings: $25 a month or more.
Substitute fancy dinners with cheap date nights. Browse a bookstore. Sketch portraits of each other. Take dance lessons. Have a picnic. Go to a lecture or performance at your local college. Watch a model rocket launch. Go on a taco truck hunt. Go for a (free) wine tasting. Estimated savings: $200 a month and up.
Turn your freezer into your very own “fast-food restaurant.” Spend a Sunday evening together making your freezer into a one-stop shop for “fast food.” Plan meals with your family, go to the grocery store, cook them together, and freeze them for the rest of the week. You’ll save lots of time, money, and gain valuable bonding time with your family. Estimated savings: $400 a month and up.
Eat before you go to restaurants. Ben, a thirty-something lawyer in Washington, DC, who works for a nonprofit and earns around $52,000 a year, buys a six-pack of bagels and a box of tea each week and skips the coffee shop. He also snacks on peanut butter and banana sandwiches before meeting up with friends at night so he can bypass the pricey entrees at restaurants, opting for cheaper appetizers instead. Estimated savings: $100 a month or more.
With these techniques, you’ll have fun hosting parties, holding cheap date nights, and inventing new meals and gift coupons, while putting a lot more money in the bank. Total Savings: At least $1,000 a month.
- What are some of your money saving tips? Let us know in the comments!
[Source: Yahoo! Finance]