The Millennial’s Guide To Surviving The Holidays Without Spending All Your Money


As we all know, the dark underbelly of endless holiday cheer comes in the form of mountainous credit card bills and bank accounts filled with coal. Here are some ways to enjoy the holidays without having to ask Santa for a loan:

1. Attend Holiday Potlucks

This past weekend, approximately 84% of instagram users between the ages of 22-28 participated in a Friendsgiving. Friendsgivings, in addition to being one of the top 5 “look, my life is better than yours” social media events of the year, have become a great millennial pastime for the following reasons:

  • They’re essentially “trial runs” for adulthood, in the sense that the success of this party hinges on music that isn’t Kanye, and dad-like commentaries regarding how long it took to prepare the turkey.
  • They’re predominately potluck dinners.

Potluck dinners, be them for Thanksgiving or the latter holidays, enable the millennial to provide an event with something of relative value, whilst also enjoying a dinner that may otherwise be out of their price range–an adult experience, on the budget of an 22 year-old.

The more people at the potluck, the better–in addition to diluting cost, this also enables you to knock as many people off the holiday checklist as possible.

2. Use Social Media To Your Advantage

Whenever you are doing something remotely holiday-centric, be sure to spread that Christmas cheer all across your social media. You may lose the respect of half your friends along the way, but this a phenomenally inexpensive way to let everyone know that you know how to celebrate the holidays.

3. Play Up Notions Of Timelessness To Add Value To Otherwise Worthless Things

When it comes to gift-giving, phrasing is everything. If you’re looking to save money, be sure to manipulate context as much as possible. For example, would you rather your significant other give you:

1. An old, broken down train set.


2. A train set that was once his/her grandfather’s, that he used to set up every year while her grandmother decorated the tree, that’s been in the family for…well, no one really knows. Could be centuries.

And just like that, your broken train set is worth hundreds of dollars in actual money. If you have a heart, make sure not to stretch the truth too much.

4. Anthony Jeselnik’s Xbox

Comedian Anthony Jeselnik has a very funny joke about Christmas gifts–specifically, how he ensured the occasion was useful:

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While it’s usually not a good idea to get your girlfriend the xbox you’ve always wanted, the holidays provide a built-in justification to purchase things that are useful. If your apartment is in need of some extra seating, buy a futon and chalk it up as a gift to your roommates. They’ll love it for the sheer fact that they don’t have to pay you back for once.

5. Be A Man

I’m not saying you should get a temporary sex change, but approximately 9% of men buy gifts for their other male friends. Our inability and unwillingness to buy each other presents is a tremendous holiday money saving technique

For anybody interested, I highly recommend not buying your 3rd best friend a gift. To stave off any residual guilt, simply check your bank account. Be sure to notice that for the first time in weeks, the amount in there hasn’t dropped way more than you thought.

6. When Back In Your Hometown, Don’t Overdo It

Going back to the hometown is always a fun-filled adventure, particularly when it comes to being in the “look how successful I am” postgraduate world.

If you have a “good” job, resist trying to impress you unemployed friends by buying them multiple rounds of shots. Gestures (that you only make to let other people know you’re superior) are nice, but only when you can actually brush them off as inconsequential.

Therefore, it’s best to be smart and modest. Just buy one round.