3 ways to avoid emotional spending during the holidays

Holiday spending is on my mind right now. I’m trying to take measures to ensure our family spending stays under control and I know that the holidays are a very dangerous time for many financially. Too many people experience the debt hangover once the bills start coming in during January.

A couple years ago I wrote about 10 ways to save money this Christmas. I even added a bonus 11th way to save money. In fact, during the next week (before Black Friday hits) I’m going to be expanding upon tips #3 and #4 with video tutorials on how to supercharge your deal-hunting expertise. I’ll show you how to use the internet to find unbelievable savings. So stay tuned for that.

But I digress. One of the reasons people overspend is because of emotional spending. The sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas can induce people into a spending frenzy. Here are a few ways to avoid emotional spending this holiday season.

1. Order your gifts online

Ordering gifts online is a great way not only to save money and avoid overspending, but it’s also really fast and easy. By avoiding the stores as much as possible, you’ll be able to avoid the marketing stimulation that exists in malls and retail stores that lures you to buy more and more. You can much more objectively create your list and buy ONLY what you intend to buy and no more. Plus, you can typically find items at lower prices on the internet which can create significant savings.

When to order gifts online to make sure you get them by Christmas

I recently came across a page on Deal Hack that has a comprehensive list of online retailers and when you need to order from them to get your gifts delivered in time for Christmas. View the list here.

Sites where you can find great deals

A while back I posted a couple of articles explaining how to find deals and shop using RSS technology. Doing so allows you to be notified when the exact item you want goes on sale. I also posted a list of sites that allow you to use RSS for your shopping. These same sites also happen to be some of my favorites for finding great deals. Some of the links in the list may be outdated. I’ll try to make sure the list is updated.

2. Buy what you want and then return the items that are over your budget

One approach my wife and I have taken when buying gifts during the holidays is to not worry too much about how we’re spending. If we happen to see an impulse item and it’s a great deal, we go ahead and buy it. Then, before we wrap all the gifts we review which ones are inside our budget and which ones we want the most. Then we return the rest.

This has worked particularly well when shopping for our son. It is somewhat liberating be able to take advantage of great deals or impulse shop even if you know you’ll be returning items. It also allows you to shop more efficiently because you don’t have to return to the store later if you decide to purchase an item while running the risk they’ll be sold out.

Once you’re considering all the gifts together and deciding which to return, the choice is much easier because you’re making comparisons rather than looking at each gift individually. For example, I might really think my son will love the card game when I see it in the store, but comparing against the transformer that he’s dying to have, the choice of which to return is much easier.

I will admit that this requires some work to return the gifts. I recommend trying to return them before Christmas is over because the post-Christmas lines can be a nightmare for a week or more after Christmas.

3. Get your shopping done before Black Friday

I recommended in my last post to get your shopping done before Black Friday. The pre-Thanksgiving shopping environment is a little less emotionally charged. The holiday promotions aren’t quite into full swing and the crowds are lighter. It’s easier to buy what you intend and it’s a more pleasant, less hectic experience. One Thanksgiving is over hold on to your seat and prepare for a crazy ride.

Tags: , , , , , ,
Posted in Shopping | Comments Off on 3 ways to avoid emotional spending during the holidays

Comments are closed.

Join my FREE newsletter and get
Exclusive content for the "12 Weeks to Fiscal Fitness" course.

12 Weeks to Fiscal Fitness

Get exclusive content by entering your First Name and Email below:

I hate SPAM and won't share your email address with anyone!

GFD Marketplace