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We’ve reached about the midway point in December, and if I were to estimate, I’d say I’ve spent roughly between two and four million dollars this month. Not all months are financially devastating, however. There are some that cost way less than others, but there’s only one way to know which ones. Let’s rank them.
You already knew this would be the worst one. Between traveling home (or on vacation) for the holidays, the presents, and all the Christmas events, nothing hits your wallet harder than December. Not only do you have to buy presents for people, once you get in the giving season, it’s hard to stop. Combine that with all the sales going on and the holiday cheer in the air and pretty soon you’re buying yourself a present for everyone you buy someone else. But you know what? That’s alright. Because December is the month to treat yourself.
You’re already in the hole with flights home and gifts for your family. You might as well just finish out the paycheck and pay extra for Christmas-themed drinks, drop some bills on ice skating in the park, and eat like a king for the last month of the year. Speaking of which, you’ve got New Year’s Eve to really close out the month broke. NYE is a like a giant themed party where the theme is just “spending money.” You’re going to end up dropping $150 on some “open bar” event at a shitty downtown club whether you like it or not, so you may as well enjoy it. Come January first, you’ll be broke, but you’ll be happy.
Christmas might be the biggest bully when it comes to taking your money, but Thanksgiving is a close second. Sure, you’re not buying anyone presents, but you are buying everyone a round at the bar. Try as you might to not go out and spend money on Blackout Wednesday, you will. You’ll buy round for your high school friends, you’ll buy round for people whose name you should remember but don’t, and you’ll buy rounds for Jenna Mastriani who may have never looked at you in tenth grade English but can’t stop staring tonight, baby. You’ll wake up hungover and hating yourself, and then you’ll do it all again for the next three nights. At least you save on food by raiding your parents kitchen for five days.
I know it seems like I’m just going through all the fall months, and that’s because I am. Fall is expensive as fuck. Football is back, and hot damn are you excited. Excited enough to drink all Saturday and Sunday? Yes. Exactly that excited. You’ve been waiting 8 months for football to grace your television, and let’s be honest, you’re going to get a little carried away. You’re going to buy-in to too many fantasy leagues. You’re going to get a little sloppy with your betting. You’ll be ordering rounds of shots at 2:30pm on a Saturday, and keeping the party going until night time. I don’t know if you know this, but living at a bar on the weekends costs money.
So the novelty of football has worn off a bit. You still love it, and you’re still watching all the games, but maybe you’re catching some of them at home. And maybe you’ve switched to beer during the day games. Thank god. September was fun, but that pace isn’t sustainable. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to drop some cash on costumes and party plans for Halloween, but that’ll all be worth it when everyone sees your super unique costume that three other people within ten feet of you are wearing.
This is my favorite month, and for good reason. It’s fucking hot. I’m talking trips to the lake, to the beach, to the pool, whatever body of water you have access to, this is the month where you’re accessing it. Of course, hanging out in the water without a drink in your hand is in direct violation of our constitution. Which is why you’ll be drinking and grilling for three straight days for America’s birthday, as is tradition. A long weekend in the heart of summer? That’s the perfect time for a trip with your friends that leaves you all hungover and destitute. I love July, but my bank account does not.
If you follow college basketball, sports in general, or just like a good party atmosphere, you already know why March holds this spot. March Madness, baby. A time for everyone to come together and bet on teams they have no knowledge of, and then go to the bars to watch said games that now have financial importance to them. Unless you’re one of the 1% that actually wins a bracket, you’re looking at a hit to the wallet.
If you don’t celebrate the cultural phenomenon that is March Madness, don’t think you’re getting away easy. It’s still March. Winter is over. You beat it. You survived. Temperatures are back in ranges that don’t make your skin hurt, and you’ll probably even get a few warm weekends. You can try and pretend that you won’t celebrate by christening the bar patios as they emerge from their hibernation, but you’re lying to yourself.
At this point, the novelty of summer has worn off and the heat has sunk in. It’s too hot for those patios and rooftops, and you’re broke after months of daytime activities. However, it’s prime time for baseball. Not, like, as a sport, because baseball is super boring. But as an outing. There is no better time to go to a baseball game. The weather is warm, and the games actually mean something. You do your best saving, but it’s hard when you’re shelling out for $12 ballpark beers.
Outside of enjoying the nice weather, there’s not too much going on. Sure, there is the Stanley Cup finals if you’re one of the lucky few who have a team that went the distance, but even that’s over in the first week. All in all, this is one of the few fun months that don’t cost too much.
I think there’s a long weekend in here somewhere. Labor Day? Memorial Day? I can never keep them straight. Either way, that will probably cost you some shekels, but other than that, you can tighten the purse strings and save up for what will undoubtedly be an expensive summer.
If you’re a dude, Valentine’s Day is going to set you back. I know, I know. You and your partner said you “weren’t doing gifts this year.” Sure. If you know what’s good for you, you’re still doing gifts, or at the very least, flowers and a nice dinner. Personally, I like the romance, and frankly, the distraction of this holiday during the shittiest month of the year, but it does come at a price. Unless you make the mistake of ending up at a bar for the Super Bowl, that party should run you no more than the price of a case of beer. February sucks, but at least it’s cheap.
I can’t think of a single event during this month that will be a financial burden. Easter? As a Jew, I don’t have a lot of experience, but it doesn’t seem to involve buying anything. Spring break? If those words fill you with any emotion other than sadness at a time long since passed, you’re on the wrong site. That’s pretty much it for April, I think. Hell, you’ll probably get your tax return back, so you might even make some money this month.
January. The GOAT. Well, when it comes to managing spending, that is. This month is the cheapest because this month is the worst. You’re broke, fat, and hungover from the holidays, and now there’s no festive cheer to ward off the cold bleakness of winter. Your goal for this month is simple – survive and save. Eat home-cooked meals every day. Go to the gym as your only activity. Drink water. Just keep your head down and you wallet closed, and soon enough it’ll be warm again. You hope. .