7 Ways to Recover from Your Holiday Shopping Hangover

7 Ways to Recover from Your Holiday Shopping Hangover

7 Ways to recover from a holiday shopping hangover

We all know the holiday shopping hangover is coming, but the vast majority of Americans won’t be able to avoid it. According to the National Retail Federation, almost 138 million people will start their holiday shopping over Thanksgiving weekend!

The average person will spend over $900, which is enough to make anyone feel terrible when they look at their bank accounts come January.

While the obvious answer would be to spend less this year – sometimes that’s just not what ends up happening. I know personally that I go into every holiday season hoping to keep the costs to a minimum, but I like giving gifts (unfortunately for my wallet).

Here are a few ways you can recover from your holiday shopping hangover this year:

Offset the costs by shopping online

This tip is basically a preventative measure. In addition to avoiding big mall crowds and crazy shoppers, you can find most of the same great deals online! By using online shopping tools like Ebates and Qmee, you can actually make money while you shop during this holiday season!

Both tools are essentially an app that you download and install on your browser. You aren’t going to get rich or even come close to matching your spending, but it may cushion the blow with cash rewards in your online accounts.

Related: Make money of while shopping online with Ebates and Qmee

Try a week-long spending ban

There’s plenty of stories in the personal finance world of ultra-frugal people avoiding consumer spending for months at a time. While you don’t need to be that intense, it may be a good idea to hit the reset button after the holidays and try a temporary spending ban.

Start a Side Hustle

This site started as a side hustle, and it has become a great source of income for me over the past two years. With that said – don’t feel like a side hustle needs to become your full-time job.

There are plenty of ways to make extra money in your spare time, and they aren’t complicated. Doing something as simple as garage sale shopping and reselling on eBay may help you recoup from your holiday shopping hangover.

See also: 8 Side Hustles You Can Start This Weekend

Track your Money

Even though you probably don’t want to look at your credit card after a shopping trip, it’s essential that you do. As technology continues to get better, keeping track of your money is becoming increasingly simple.

Money tracking tools like Mint and Personal Capital (the tool my wife and I use regularly) are free and allow you to see important personal finance metrics like weekly spending, net worth, and account balances.

Related article: Personal Capital Review: Free Money Tracking

Limit your food expenses

One of the most effective (and easiest) ways to cushion the blow of higher than expected shopping expenses is by limiting the amount you spend on food. As tempting as it may be to eat out while everyone is off for the holidays, try to plan your meals out and eat at home as much as possible.

Don’t miss: Check out the food saving tips that I recently shared with Forbes!

Avoid going out for entertainment

Have you seen how much it costs to go to a movie lately? Entertainment costs stacked on top of increased holiday spending can be a big blow to your extra cash.

Entertaining at home instead can drastically reduce the amount of money going out during the end of the year, and you’ll probably find that you have a better time without the guilt of spending too much.

Plan for next year

One of the smartest strategies I’ve seen to prepare for holiday spending (and avoid credit card balances around the holidays) is the use of designated savings accounts provided by banks and credit unions.

Many of these institutions provide “holiday shopping clubs”, which encourage customers to set aside money every month to prepare for the end of the year. The best part? Many of these accounts hold the funds until the fall (usually October) and then deposit the money into your main account just in time for the holidays!

Question for you:

How do you plan on recovering from your holiday shopping hangover?

 

Live differently. Your bank accounts will thank me later. ~M$M

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8 comments… add one
  • Financial Panther Nov 21, 2016, 9:24 am

    Planning ahead is definitely the biggest secret in my opinion! $900 for annual shopping is pretty high, but even if that’s what you spend, dividing that number by 12 makes it a much more It’s hard to come up with $900 suddenly at the end of the year. But savings $75 per month from January through December is a much easier thing to do. I’ve been setting aside money for Christmas gifts every year now for a few years, and it makes the holiday season much less stressful, since I’ve already got a pot of money ready to go when December rolls around.

  • Kathryn Nov 21, 2016, 3:44 pm

    I usually save up my credit card rewards during the year for holiday shopping. I also set up a budget set aside from that for gifts, decorations and parties. You’re spot on about entertainment! It gets expensive!

  • Christa Szabo Nov 21, 2016, 8:34 pm

    Homemade gifts are my go to. I send cookies and whatever I canned the most that year. This year, with the cookies, I’ll be sending blueberry cardamom jam, cherry wine sauce and pear Caramel sauce. Super personal, can’t find it in any store, and with cookies being only about 10 cents a pop to produce; it’s hard to beat the costs. And who doesn’t love getting homemade cookies in the mail?!

    • Millennial Money Man Nov 21, 2016, 9:50 pm

      My family has done a lot of homemade gifts in the past – but now we are actually just keeping it to only buying gifts for the kids (which is awesome). Barbies are expensive haha!

      • Christa Szabo Nov 22, 2016, 9:32 am

        They are, aren’t they?!?! It’s crazy! Lol. Try Goodwill and other thrift stores. You’d be surprised what you can find there, including toys and such still in its original packaging.

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