Written By: Genesis Moreno

It’s all fun and games until “5, 4, 3, 2, 1” is followed by a zero in your bank account. According to Prosper Insights & Analytics’ recent annual survey, the average amount U.S. adults plan to spend this holiday season is $967.13. Between grandma’s new T.V. set, festive decor, and expensive dinners, statistics show holiday fever can get expensive! Our better judgement becomes clouded when flashy, limited-time holiday sales induce us to buy more at a “bargain price”. Here are some helpful pointers on how to save this holiday season:

1) Wave ‘Au Revoir’ to Unhealthy Habits!

If you’re the type of person who stumbles out of bed and into a Starbucks drive-thru every morning, it may be time to reconsider your guilty pleasure. Accounting Principals’ 2012 Workonomix  survey estimated American workers spend an average of $20 a week on coffee, for a yearly average of $1,092. The cappuccino lattes add up, Buddy! My suggestion: preset your coffee machine every night to get a fresh brew without the sugary add-ons. If you’re more of a breakfast taco person, make twenty on a weekend and freeze ’em for later!

2) Don’t Underestimate the Perks of a Budget

I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but knowing where your money goes and where it doesn’t have to, can be a game-changer. After all, knowledge is power. Boot up Excel, list your monthly expenses, and keep it in line with your discretionary income. The Golden Rule: spend less than you earn. The more you spend, the more responsibilities you take on. Give yourself a break, minimize, and save!

3) What’s your Motive?

Money isn’t intrinsically valuable on its own. It’s a green sheet of smelly paper used as a means for exchange. It’s the meaning we attach to it that makes all the difference. Ask yourself: “Why do I spend?”

Understanding the value you attach to money can make you more intuitive about your next purchase. “Am I shopping to keep the kids from screaming?” “Does this greasy pizza make me forget my stressful day?” Kids don’t need the new galactic 10th edition of the latest toy to be happy. They can entertain themselves with a stick. I’m not saying become frugal Aunt Josephine; I’m saying you don’t always have to say yes.