How Spending Thanksgiving Alone Makes Me Happier (& saves me money)

For a lot of people Thanksgiving means visiting family or hosting family and just eating a lot of food.. But I haven’t done that the past couple years and I kind a love it. The closest family have lives about a 3 1/2 hour drive away and they’re great but I’m not particularly close with them if you know what I mean. So the last two years instead of traveling to see them for Thanksgiving I’ve stayed home. And it’s been awesome.

I actually Take a Break, How I Spend Thanksgiving

See, I’ve been taking Thanksgiving off pretty much every year of my life (except when I had to work retail) so I’m used to using it as a break. Being self-employed means I can work all of the time. However, having this practice in place means I actually take a break.

And instead of working, I do a lot of what other people do. I cook my favorite foods, but because I’m by myself and not hosting someone I’m only cooking my favorite foods. And frankly I spend the day drinking champagne and eating. I love it. I relax. I’m not filled with anxiety of trying to hang out or make conversation.

This break give me an energy reserve I need to face the holidays. Come Christmastime I will go from living alone with just my animals to being surrounded by 10 other people constantly. It’s a jolt to my system every year.

I love my family and Christmas is super fun but it’s so different from my day-to-day that it becomes absolutely exhausting really fast. So having that time on Thanksgiving to just chill and do what I want, having my own little holiday tradition makes it easier to really enjoy all the holiday traditions that come with Christmas and my family. Plus it means no one else stealing my Thanksgiving leftovers. Also did I mention champagne?

Keep on enjoying life, save some money too.

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Being an Introvert, it Saves on Stress and Energy

Believe it or not I’m an introvert, I also occasionally suffer from anxiety attacks. Having just spent time in September and October traveling to conferences and visiting friends, which I loved doing and were tons of fun, I need a break. And Thanksgiving is when I take the time off work and give myself that break. I relax, eat food, browse Black Friday ads and maybe buy cheap movies and I enjoy a favorite drink.

Being an introvert means I get my energy from spending time alone and as I mentioned earlier I don’t really get to do that at Christmas. Now I don’t get to see my family too often so I love getting to see and hang out with them. But that desire to spend time with them doesn’t make my need to be alone or my anxiety flare ups go away.

So Thanksgiving is my holiday to rest and relax and save my energy and just to do whatever I want because let’s be honest holidays and celebrating with others involved compromise. Not that I mind compromise, but I don’t often have to compromise on many things since I do live on my own. Making it nice to just have a holiday without compromise.

Thanksgiving Alone, Also Saves Money

Seeing as this is a personal finance blog, I should probably tie money into this conversation. Spending Thanksgiving on my own, lets me save on travel and other expenses.

First of all, I’m not traveling. I’m not buying an expensive plane ticket or driving for hours in traffic, spending money on gas and energy on travel. Not travelling also means not spending money on a dog sitter.

Also since I like to contribute to Thanksgiving and the meal being enjoyed. Which may mean making food I don’t really like and probably wouldn’t buy myself. I’m saving money on food because I’m only doing things I absolutely like to eat on Thanksgiving. BTW I’ll be honest I realize last year I don’t actually like turkey that much. Plus by drinking champagne all day I’m limited on my ability to go shopping. Because drinking and driving is not cool.

Related: The 10 Types of People You Meet Black Friday Weekend

Wrapping it Up with a Bow on Top

Ok so wrapping it up, I love my Thanksgiving alone because it gives me the mental health break I need after recent travels and prepares me for what’s coming at Christmas.

I love eating only food I want and spending money on only the food I want and drinking and chilling with my animals at home. I love saving money by not having to travel or be exhausted by the travel. Overall I’m thankful that I can have Thanksgiving as my time. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, no matter what your traditions are, don’t spend too much on Black Friday 😉

Life tools & resources I recommend

The Skimm (for staying informed) I've been a loyal Skimmer for over three years. The Skimm is a news source that shows up in your email first thing in the morning M-F. It gives you a 5-minute rundown of what's happening in the world and links to legitimate news sources if you want to learn more about a topic. I start every day with my coffee and The Skimm. I <3 it so much.

Winc (for Wine Delivery) I like ordering a box of different wines to try from Winc every few months. The bottles average $13 a piece and delivery is free when you get at least 4 bottles (more wine please). If you want to check out Winc, you can get a free bottle of wine using my link. I'm very pro free wine.

Checkout 51 (to save on groceries) To save money on groceries, download the Checkout51 app and sign up for free. Each week on Thursday, "new deals" come out. Go through and star the items that are on your grocery shopping list. Do your shopping and at the end use your phone to snap a picture of receipt through the app and hit submit. Once you earn $20 in rewards you can cash out and Checkout51 will send you a check.

thanksgiving alone | holiday season | how to spend thanksgiving
thanksgiving alone | holiday season | how to spend thanksgiving
thanksgiving alone | holiday season | how to spend Thanksgiving


Liz is a blogger and podcaster helping people with personal finance and working for themselves. She shares her own journey to debt freedom and helps graduates dealing with above average student loan debt on her site, Less Debt More Wine. She currently resides in NC after calling Massachusetts home for nearly a decade.

  • Steph says:

    This is my second thanksgiving staying in and away from family. My first year was SO DEPRESSING. I cried the whole day, while drinking, and watching Gossip Girl. But this year, I’m stoked! I’m saving so much on travel, on food, and saving so much energy. Spending thanksgiving alone can be such a relief, instead of a depressing day. Glad I’m not the only one that enjoys alone time, even during the holidays!

    PS- I miss your accountability posts and income reports. You’re really inspiring, and I love seeing your real life numbers! ☺️ Most bloggers hide everything, it’s hard to relate.

    • Liz says:

      Glad you’re looking forward to your quiet Thanksgiving! And thanks for letting me know you miss my accountability/income posts, I’d done a reader survey and got feedback that those posts weren’t much cared for, but perhaps I’ll reconsider now because they are good reminders for me as well, being public puts a little extra pressure on me. Happy holidays!

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