Tips to saving money after the holidays

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: MELISSA NOVACASKA
After the holidays, you may find that your bank account is lower than usual. Follow the five steps above to help start saving some money.

The holidays are a great time to relax from a busy fall semester and spend time with family and friends. However, the holidays are also a time to spend too much money on gifts, vacations, or maybe even an extravagant New Year 's Eve night out. Student budgets are not that forgiving so it is important that you get our finances back on track after a little too much spending over the holidays. Here are five tips to get your bank account back to where you want it to be.

1. Avoid eating in restaurants

It seems that restaurants get more expensive every time you go. Eating in restaurants all the time is a way to spend money and not really have anything to show for it. Considering meal planning and going to the grocery store. You can make meals for the week so you can avoid the urge to go out to eat or order in. Meal planning is also a great way to eat healthier and help you achieve your new year's resolution of cleaner eating.

2. Try not to spend all your gift cards too quickly

Pretty much everyone will end up with a few gift cards after the holidays from those people that did not really know what to get you. Although it is tempting to go out and spend them all right away, it may be in your best interest to save some of them. Once you run out of your gift cards you will be tempted to spend more of your own money, so do your best to make them last at least a couple of months.

3. Cash in your scratch cards

A popular stocking stuffer is scratch cards, which can end up being the best gift of your life if you are a big winner. Usually if the card is a winner, a lot of people are tempted to use the winnings to buy more scratch cards. Instead, consider cashing in the card and saving the money instead of continuing to buy until you inevitably lose the money anyways.

4. Spend less time at the bar

Now that you are back at school and are with your friends again, you may be tempted to go on a three day bender. If you are trying to save money, the bar is one of the worst places to go because your concerns about your bank account decrease with each overpriced drink you have. Instead, have your friends over to your house and bring your own drinks or you can even consider having a dry January after too much spiked eggnog over the holidays.

5. Sell some of your used items

During the holidays, you likely received some new clothes, electronics, decor, etc. January is a great time to go through your house and gather things that you no longer need. Bring your clothes to Plato's Closet or sell your items on Kijiji or Facebook. This is a great way of decreasing the clutter in your house while making a bit of money.