The Holidays are upon us as we gather around the table to give thanks, share that amazing Thanksgiving feast and fall into that tryptophan induced slumber. Soon, we start to realize that our favorite day of the year is almost here! No, not Christmas, it’s Black Friday and we all know what that means right? We now get to go shopping and save all that money on those pre-Christmas sales!
Well, think again… not only do we NOT save money (saving money means not spending money) but our emotions usually go into overdrive and trick us into spending more and buying things that we wouldn’t normally buy at any other time of the year. We use excuses like, “But it is Christmas, and my children really want this!” or “I know my kids have moved away so I’ll just treat myself to this little gift because, after all, I want a Holiday gift too!”
Even though we are all supposedly saving money, Americans will be “saving” their way into a debt of around $800 within the next 30 days! Ok, so now you’re thinking, “Bah Humbug!” Well, that’s not true and I’m not trying to rain on your parade either.
What I am trying to do is get you to a place where you will think before you buy; to spend with a purpose… after all being forewarned is being forearmed!
How to spend, with purpose
Impulse shopping is the quickest way to spiral your way into a debt that you will be paying for in 2015. So, before you brave the malls or shop online do the following:
- Plan a budget and stick to it.
- Create a “gift list” of what you are planning to buy for each person
- Ask yourself this, “Is this a need or simply a want?”
- Do an online research to get the best deals on the items you need.
- Find discount codes and save hundreds of dollars and it doesn’t take more than a minute. Simply go to RetailMeNot.com, SecretPrices.com, and FreeShipping.org to pull up all of the available discounts for your store. Use the discount code during the checkout process to get free shipping or to save 20% or more.
- You can purchase discounted gift cards and the discounts are usually 5%-30% off the face value of the card. Check GiftCardRescue.com and GiftCards.com.
Finally, consider giving a charitable gift in someone’s name… not only will you be able to write it off at tax time and save money, you’ll be sharing the true meaning of the holidays with those you love.