You know the holidays are right around the corner and you should begin your festive budgeting sooner rather than later for the next three months. However, if you’re like most of us, the prospect of limiting your spending the next few months can come as a bit of a scare.
For many people, especially millennials, largely due to social pressures, it’s extremely difficult to cut spending when accustomed to a certain lifestyle. From going out for drinks on the weekend to grabbing that daily cappuccino or constantly feeling tempted by “two-day delivery” when online shopping, millennials regularly feel pressured to spend.
What if we told you that you could still spend your hard-earned money on what you want, but we could save you money while you do it? No this isn’t a gimmick, just three more ways we’re helping you stay financially savvy and plan ahead for the holiday season.
Shop Smart on Big Items
Oftentimes, big ticket items come with the misconception that you must spend tons of money on them. In reality, you can find anything for a deal, no matter what it is you’re looking for. Whether you’re in the market for name-brand low-priced televisions or searching for quality couches, they shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. If you aren’t in a pinch and are able to plan out your shopping months in advance for big items, take a look at this insightful article detailing the best time of year to buy certain products.
Spacing out your purchasing of big items is also helpful. Rather than waiting until one month to buy everything you need, space it out over a number of months and allow yourself to budget smartly for when you need to purchase the items. Not only does this give you more time to do your research and find the best deals, but it also doesn’t put you in the position down the line where you look back and realize you spent your entire budget for big items for the year in a span of just a couple weeks.
Spend More Time Cooking
One Bureau of Labor Statistics study reported by Business Insider found that millennials spend nearly 10% of their yearly spending on dining out. To put part of that into perspective, another study found that the average 25-34 year-old spends over $2,000 on coffee a year, more than they put into retirement in some instances. So, the obvious solution to eating out? Dine in. You may not be the best cook or home mixologist, but your wallet and monthly budget will certainly thank you for the change.
But we said you could still spend your hard-earned money! How does eliminating going out to eat accomplish that? If you just can’t bear to cut down on eating out, then try another alternative, meal subscription services.
Meal subscription services have taken off in the current landscape where consumers are hesitant to go out in public. Meal subscription kits give you step-by-step instructions to create chef-inspired meals that will give you the feeling you’re dining out at your favorite spot at a fraction of the cost.
Remember that streaming service you subscribed to one time three years ago because your favorite show was on it? Odds are, you’re still paying for it. Or, the one week free trial that, in fine print, started charging you after that seven-day test period?
The average American spends over $200/month on subscriptions, and according to the Waterstone Group, 84% underestimate how much they actually spend. Subscriptions can be a silent killer to your budgeting and savings goals as just about all of them automatically renew and charge you monthly or annually without any notice.
Luckily, there are services that help you identify and cancel unused subscriptions, saving you money in the process. While some subscriptions are necessary, you’ll be surprised just how much money you’re throwing away on apps or services you seldom or never use every month.
So, not too difficult, right? Budgeting and beginning to save money now for the holiday season doesn’t have to be a pain and shouldn’t come with a drastic change to your current lifestyle. Rather, take these tips into account when spending and feel free to customize them to your specific needs!