Is it just me, or has New Year’s Eve become a big excuse to binge on a bunch of bad habits? It’s probably related to the fact that everyone sees this day as their last chance to go out there and really take advantage of their freedom before New Year’s resolutions get started and work picks up again.

We’ve all been there — you go out, have a great time, and then get a huge shock when your credit card bill comes in the mail. Not the greatest way to kick off your New Year’s resolutions.

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If you are one of the 100 million Americans planning on heading out to the restaurants or bars this New Year’s Eve take a quick look at things you can do over the next few days to have a guilt free time:

Go on a restaurant hiatus. You may be used to eating out for lunch, grabbing a coffee and granola bar for breakfast, or just ordering out for dinner. Starting today, head to the grocery store and plan out your meals for the rest of the week (and the next).

By avoiding restaurants except for New Year’s Eve you can save enough money to enjoy dinner and drinks without feeling bad when it comes to paying the tab. A $60 grocery bill should be enough for a week’s worth of food.

If it’s too late and you weren’t planning on heading out to eat in the few days before the New Year, set a mandatory amount of days to eat in. This way, you will still end up saving – just make sure you can stick to this and you don’t see it as an excuse to spend more.

Do your Christmas returns early. Getting Christmas gifts is great, but let’s face it, people aren’t always on point with what you want. If you were planning on returning or selling any of your gifts do it now so you can pocket the cash for Saturday night. Of course it would be better to donate those gifts…

Get creative when buying threads. Speaking from a female perspective, a lot of thought typically goes into finding the perfect New Year’s outfit.

As I was shuffling through my calendar looking for time to find a New Year’s dress I realized that I had absolutely no need. If you are one of those people who wants to look super sharp for New Year’s think about borrowing an outfit (again more of a girl thing), going to the thrift store, or digging through the back of your closet will give you the go-ahead to get an appetizer and extra drink with dinner.

Only Bring Cash. The best way to avoid over spending on New Year’s is by carrying cash. Once you hit the limit you set, you are out of luck. You are also less likely to lose (or leave) your credit card at bar.

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