OHOD: Saving After the Holidays

A few things I stand by in order to recuperate beginning January 1st.

1. Plan meals and don’t eat out. It’s really that simple. No exceptions, no mall lunches because you’re out, no delivery, no nothing. Just healthy, home-cooked, clean eating for the month of January during the week.
2. Skip out on one indulgent weekend activity for the month of January. The opportunity is always going to be there, so I “nay” one activity that I would normally “yay”. This makes me feel better in terms of my spending because I feel like I’ve made a responsible choice.
3. Be the initiator. One of my biggest struggles in DC is my lack of a cohesive group of friends. I have a few friends from church, a group I strictly socialize with, friends from college, and a few teacher friends. I always felt like I was doing a brunch with this ONE person, then a quick lunch with that ONE person, a happy hour with this small group. When your friends are disjointed, take the opportunity to be the event coordinator. What I’ve learned to do is pick a place for drinks and tell all of them to meet you there. This limits my spending to one gathering rather than 5 different ones. Then, I do maintenance with the people who were unable to attend; which is far less than making plans with each person/group individually.
4. Manicures are NOT necessary. I’m not a manicure person, but I had to put this on here because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard colleagues say they spend too much money and then say they NEED a mani/pedi. If you need a mani/pedi then what word would you use to describe poverty-stricken areas NEEDING food (slight exaggeration)?
5. Same applies for coffee in the morning. Really? SKIP IT! It’s pretty obvious, but again, I can’t take you seriously if you talk about not being paid enough, not saving enough, and you’re carrying coffee with a painted green Goddess on the outside of the cup.
6. Prepare meals for the following occasions:
Upon returning after a weekend away and late night food when you know you’ll have the munchies at 2:00 AM. Many people return from a trip and pick up take out for dinner. The last thing I want to do is eat another restaurant meal and spend more money. So, I always prepare to have something on hand and mentally prepare to eat it when I return. This way, I’m never disappointed. As far as late night snacks go, plan ahead with whatever you think you’ll crave (for me, its grilled cheese). Trust me, I’ve planned my route home so that I just happen to pass by Julia’s to pick up empanadas for the walk/ride home, but really, it’s unnecessary.


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