Getting Your $$$ Back

Shopping Bags

If you’re like most any young woman starting off in the adult world, chances are you set a modest, respectable budget when it came to holiday spending, and had every intention of abiding by these self-given rules.

That is, until you found out you were exchanging gifts with all nine of your cousins, and not just your first cousins on your mom’s side, until you found out that your co-workers are on gluten-free diets and can’t have those beyond beautiful baked goods you so lovingly prepared, and that perfect sweater for dad at an even more perfect price? You know, the one your sister also bought for him, so you caved, returned, and still without a new idea in sight?

Oh, that budget.

Don’t get me wrong, I do my best to stick to mine come every December, but one way or another a purchase here or there slips past, unjustified and unaccounted for, and before you know it, January is a wintry mess, stone cold AND broke.

Never fear, Lemon Ladies, because unless the first of the year comes with tons more gift-giving occasions (birthdays, weddings, showers, oh my!), now is the perfect time to set aside some extra cash until you’re feeling flush again.

Two words: Automatic transfer. It’s amazing how much money you think you can’t afford to save until you start saving without thinking about it. Setting up an automatic transfer from your checking to savings account, even for something as low as $20.00 a month, can start to rebuild your rainy day funds after a busy month of spending.

Ignore your inbox. Unless you received a mountain of gift cards, those SALE SALE SALE emails and midday dash discounts are only going to get you to spend even more. Let your credit card cool off by simply deleting these discount invitations or, better yet, clicking “unsubscribe.” Removing the temptation entirely will make it easier, and there will always be a chance to re-add yourself to email lists later.

Shop later, save now. If you’ve got cash or checks, really stop and consider if you need to buy anything with your newfound dough right this minute. After all, you probably received other presents, so you might be better off just depositing that money for a later date. Just think of how responsible you’ll feel!

While it’s fun to get and even more fun to give, sometimes doing so can cause a little financial strain, and that’s no way to ring in the new year! Take these tips to heart (and pocket) for a sure way to get your budget back on track.


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