Living in a city that capitalizes off of fads and new trends it is very easy to get caught up in spending unnecessarily. During the holidays, sales by nature make people gravitate to stores that they usually wouldn’t shop in or purchase on a regular basis. Once we see 25% and above being displayed, you can bet consumers will be swarming to see what the hype is about.
Holiday spending, I’d say starts heavily in May to the end of April. We start off with Memorial Weekend and then July 4th is the peak of barbecue season and that carries on until about Labor Day and then the holidays start to roll down like a avalanche into the New Year.
So what can one do when you see a sale you just can’t resist? What can you do to at least curb this bad habit of unnecessary spending?
- Review your current expenses. See if you got a little extra cushion before pushing your last few pennies. Look to see if all your major bills have been covered for the month. Are you saving for something better to come along? Are you in between jobs or in transition to a new position? Shopping when broke broke is a rude reminder that you don’t have it’s like that. This is especially true if you haven’t even gone grocery shopping.
- Create savings plans for the major holidays. If you’re big on family gatherings or being a host for the holidays, I encourage you to incorporate a savings plan for the holidays. Some of us put out so much money into these events that sometimes it builds a literal anxiety of starting to prepare for the holiday. So why not set the tone of less stress by the allocation of funds where needed?
- Ask yourself Do you really, really need it or can you wait? I say this because we will buy products, clothing, shoes, watches, and etcetera and still not wear them, use them, and have the nerve to leave the tags on them. The thrift store becomes the human articles of clothing dispenser just for a tax write off. Let’s be better shoppers when it comes to things that are of quality not quantity.￼￼￼
- Will the item go on sale again? We know that especially that once Thanksgiving passes the sales usually increase by 30% and continue to increase closer to Christmas. So that little sale may just become a bigger one…so did you really maximize your savings?
- Is it birthday season? There is always that one particular time of year that is saturated with celebrations and birthdays. Friendships turn into outtings, dinners, trips, event halls, weddings, baby showers, and first birthdays. Capitalism and the sales will split you into multiple pieces. So again ask yourself if you really really need it.
- Can you get this online for cheaper? Compare and contrast a good bargain. Some stores will sell the same item over and over again for a relatively cheaper price during the course of the work week. Monitor the item using couponing apps and or price comparing it in other stores.
- Should I do a store pick up or have it delivered to my house? People underestimate in store pick up. Sometimes it evades taxes and additional fees that come with shipping an item or multiple items. Also, during the holidays there is a lot of mishaps when items are shipped either because the website may not note your address correctly, package gets completely damaged because it’s not handled with care, or it goes up and missing depending on your residence and or neighborhood. Let’s not get confined to a phone with customer service this year.
The holidays are about embracing your loved ones and giving from the heart. Don’t let your heart lead you to a headache and more debt.