No matter what kind of binge it is — shopping, Netflix, eggnog — binging results in similar feelings: you're inert, over-satiated, guilty, and deep down, you know you went just a bit too far. Fast on the heels of such remorse, you resolve to change. If you're feeling like this in relation to holiday spending that went a little off the rails, these money-saving mantras will help you reset and recover.
"Wait a week."
When you see something that you really, really want, or even that at first thought you believe you need, get into the habit of telling yourself to wait a week. If that item is still on your mind or its absence is proving difficult after a week has passed, consider the purchase again. You'll eliminate impulsive and emotional purchases, and perhaps in the meantime find a way to live without it.
"Shop the pantry (and fridge)."
At the end of a long day when cooking is the absolute last thing you feel like doing and, dangit you forgot to go grocery shopping, don't blow your food budget on a meal out. Get creative with items you have on-hand in your pantry or your refrigerator. Roast whatever vegetables you have with some olive oil and salt and pepper and serve with rice, have oatmeal for dinner, or check out these apps that will help you whip up a meal from ingredients that are already in the house.
"The store isn't doing me any favors."
This is what you need to remember when you see a sale. On the cleaning supplies you always use! Or the towels you may or may not need — but they're such a good price! Sales are designed to make the store money, not save you money, so resist the urge to buy something just because it's on sale or go somewhere because they're having a sale.
"Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without."
This depression-era quote reminds us to make do with what we already have. So many times when my first reaction is to replace something, this quote makes me pause and think about how I can make what I have work, use up what I already have before getting something more or "better," or just decide to say no to myself.
"What can I use instead?"
Necessity is the mother of invention, as they say. When you need something and you make a practice of at least pretending you can't solve your problem by buying something, you'd be surprised with the solutions you come up with. Again, give yourself some time; don't give up if something doesn't come to you right away.
By keeping these quotes at the forefront of your mind, you may not only save some cash in the short term, but also develop some thriftier spending habits for the long term.