Staying on a budget throughout the holidays is no easy feat. On top of all the gifts, travel, and seasonal soirees you have to save for, New Year’s Eve is right around the corner—making it difficult to have enough money to celebrate the new year once Christmas is a wrap.
But fret not my penniless friends; we’ve got a great idea: Have a No Spend Week from December 26 until New Year’s Eve!
If you can commit to staying home, eating in, and being frugal for the five days following Christmas, you’ll hopefully have enough money in the bank to wild out in style (and hopefully a new dress) by New Year’s Eve.
Read ahead for seven ways to save money the week after Christmas, so you can ring in 2018 like a rock star.
1. Put your gifts to good use
Staying in night after night, especially if you’re on a staycation for the holidays, isn’t easy. However, staying home with lots of fun new gifts to play with, is a whole other story. Avoid the bars and instead entertain yourself by trying out the crazy eye shadow kit your aunt gave you, or order a new outfit with the gift card you got from your brother. Chances are you’ll have enough money saved by New Year’s to finally go out, and maybe a new ensemble to boot.
2. Eat leftovers
Holiday feasts usually end with loads of leftovers. Take advantage of all the free food and stock your fridge with leftovers to eat throughout the week after Christmas. You won’t have to cook or spend a cent at the grocery store, and your mom will be thrilled with how much you enjoyed her cooking.
Looking for a way to kill time and burn energy the week after Christmas? Get a jumpstart on a healthy 2018 and use this week to finally hit the treadmill. Don’t have (or can’t afford) a gym membership? No worries. Brisk morning walks or a daily YouTube yoga session will help you stay active without dipping into your party funds.
4. Binge-watch Netflix
Netflix is beautiful thing. Just when you think you’ve seen it all (aka good movies and television series), the online streaming service pops up with a brand new show to binge watch. And what better time than the week before New Years—when your wallet is empty but you’re fridge is full of leftovers—to curl up on the couch and watch Netflix all night long?
5. Use any and all of your gift cards
Holiday gifts come in all forms, including gift certificates. Whether it’s a free movie pass or pre-paid Visa credit card, use the gift cards you’ve been given as often as possible the week after Christmas, to avoid spending cash and combat your boredom.
6. Invite friends over
Dying for social interaction but just can’t muster the funds for a night out with the gals? Invite your friends to your place and order a cheap pizza (now’s the time to cash in your points) or crack open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving. You’ll score some solid QT with your besties without compromising your New Year’s Eve budget.
7. Or FaceTime them
The holidays are the perfect time to reconnect with old friends, even if it’s over the phone. Instead of sulking over all of your friend’s out-and-about Instagram posts, try FaceTime-ing a few old friends while you’re stuck at home being frugal. Whether it’s a morning “coffee date” or over dinner, a good gab sesh over the phone with your friends will help you save money and make you feel better about staying in.