[credit provider=”Daniel Goodman / Business Insider”]
If the gift-giving season wreaked havoc on your bank account, follow these money-saving tips to recover from holiday debt and regain your financial confidence.
- Tweak your food routine. Make the obvious wallet-friendly changes to your meal habits: pack your lunch, cook dinners at home, and swap your Starbucks sip for the coffeemaker variety. Amp up the savings and avoid wasting money on groceries by writing out a weekly menu each Sunday and shopping only for necessities. If you do eat out, check for coupons beforehand, opt for an appetizer as your main entree, and choose water over pricey beverages.
- Travel smart. Public transportation isn’t always the most glamorous option, but it’s definitely one of the cheapest. Take advantage of your city’s travel alternatives and walk whenever possible. When you have to drive, take the necessary steps to save on gas.
- Become a budget-conscious hostess. Skip restaurants and bars in favour of potluck dinners and nights in with your friends. Chances are, the rest of your social circle is minding their money, too, so invite them over for a game night, a clothes swap, a movie marathon, or a spa party. You’ll avoid costly nights out and score some quality time with your pals.
- Spend those gift cards — finally. Empty your junk drawer, your wallet, and those random purse pockets to gather the gift cards you forgot to use last month . . . or last year. It’s important to spend wisely, so don’t let gift cards be an excuse for impractical splurges.