Don’t you love this time of year, Christmas is coming, so it’s all about spend, spend, spend, shop, shop, shop and worry about paying for it next year. I am sure it is not just us girls who feel like this. How do we survive this sensory overload that seems to compel us to spend more money than we have?
The pressure to purchase Christmas presents for everyone is huge at this time of year. All our children or grandchildren need the latest toys; men need the latest gadget, and every girl regardless of age need jewellery, that’s what the advertisers tell us…
Here are a few tips to help you save money when you go Christmas shopping.
- Spending is emotional. When it comes to money, typically our feelings rule our actions, thoughts come later. Neuro scientists say you make spending decisions up to 10 seconds before you are consciously aware of them. So before opening your wallet count to 10 slowly!
- Don’t use credit cards. Credit cards separate the pleasure of spending with the pain of paying; we are natural optimists and tell ourselves we can pay the whole credit card off when it falls due. Then the boundaries slip a bit, one month becomes three, then six and in the meantime the interest cost is increasing. Research shows that credit card users significantly underestimate how much they owe, one study showed cardholders admitting to $4 out of every $10 they owe, don’t fall into that trap.
- Shop alone. Shopping as a social occasion is great fun, but it can increase our spending, we relax our usual constraints, maybe because we want to impress, or we just get carried away with the moment and excitement of being with friends.
- Set yourself a budget. Yes, I know that is a dirty word, but it works, decide how many gifts you want to purchase and set a limit per gift, then start early in the year, set up an automatic payment every week into your Xmas shopping account, then forget about it until December, you will be surprised how much you can save by making a good decision once.
- Don’t be special. We have all seen the posters and adverts, if you spend $80.00 you get a free gift, stick to your original intent and only spend the $40.00 for the gift you want.
- Don’t leave your shopping to the last minute. I know the men will find this one hard to relate to, but last minute shopping causes stress, which heightens our emotions, which can throw caution to the wind, all thoughts of budgets, and sensible spending goes out the window.
This is my personal favourite
- It was on sale, so I bought two….. Do you really need two of the same thing? OK maybe the items are different colours, or you got 2 different sizes so the kids will grow into them. This type of thought is a spending justification, we have had an argument with ourselves, which we have won, that gave us a reason to spend more than we intended to. Be careful of sales, sometimes the deals aren’t as good as we think they are.
So, pack away the credit cards, be clear about how much you are going to spend on gifts and go forth and have fun shopping.
I love the wrapping up part the best….. and of course the unwrapping part as well.
http://www.mymoneyseeker.com Lynda Moore