Updated: Nov 29, 2019
We’ve made it through Thanksgiving but, the most expensive days of the season lie ahead.
With Black Friday, Cyber Monday and any other day retailers brand as offering steep discounts, the average person could find their hard-earned savings completely goggled up. It’s one thing to save and plan for end-of-year shopping, but it’s another story when you spend what you earmarked for emergencies or other expense categories.
In 2017, American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in 24 hours during Black Friday alone. According to an article in The Washington Post, the 174 million Americans who shopped between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday spent an average of $335 per person during that five-day period, with the biggest spenders—millennials aged 24 to 35—paying out an average of $419.52 per person.
Looking for ways to avoid blowing through your savings this season? Here are three tips to help:
Tip 1: Redirect Your Spending from Eating Out
According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics' in 2017, below is a breakdown of how much on average different age groups throw away on eating out at restaurants or buying take out each year. That’s roughly $285 - $350 per month (when zeroing in on millennials 25-34 and Gen Xer 35-44). If these funds were simply redirected to support your financial goals, you could cushion your savings or help slash debt.
Tip 2: Place Alerts that Trigger Spending Limits
Are you one who tends to spend without keeping track? Setting alerts via free apps like Mint can offer triggers for when you are close to or at your spending limit. Not sure what your spending limits are or should be? Check out our R.E.A.L.I.S.T.I.C Budget Method and begin creating a budget that is based on real-time data and that accounts for all expenses.
Tip 3: Use Points Instead of Cash or Credit
If you’ve been using your credit card throughout the year and have rewards points, consider using them for holiday shopping instead of using your cash or further relying on credit.