The Holiday season is upon us and you are mostly likely you are feeling the pressure to accommodate the demands that come with the season. Well this is the time to treat your wallet with respect so you wont have that “What was I thinking?” conversation with yourself after the holidays have ended.
Saving money is essential, but we also need to have a plan of attack before the shopping starts. Since today is Black Friday, people are most likely in the stores racking up as you read this. Although there will be plenty of marked dow products, we have to really think about the neccisity of the purchase.
Below are some tips I found on Shine from Yahoo that have helped me stay focused, hopefully they will guide you as well.
Stick to Your List
When you narrow your options, you simplify the decision making process. Making a shopping list – and sticking to it – can be one of the best ways to avoid impulse shopping. And be specific: Instead of considering all 200 winter coats in the department store, zero in on the few that meet your needs and fall within your budget. Otherwise, you may be tempted to spend more than you should.
Get Some Air
Give yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes to disassociate your mind from whatever it is you’re considering purchasing, whether you’re shopping online or in a store. Put the item in your shopping basket online, or leave it at the sales counter while you take a lap around the mall. Without a sense of urgency or the pressure to buy, you can make a more rational decision.
Before you pull out your wallet, ask, “What are the trade-offs?” If you have ample cash in the bank, then you can afford the purchase. But what if buying a new laptop is the difference between going to the Bahamas for spring break or a staycation?
Phone a Friend
For big-ticket items, it sometimes helps to grab a second opinion. (And no, the salesperson’s doesn’t count.) You want to ask someone who understands your goals and can give you honest advice on whether that new sofa is worth the $1,200 price tag.
Using cash, rather than a credit card, may seem more painful. But if you can’t afford to pay cash, you might not be able to afford your new splurge, period. Actually watching our funds shrinking can be the very wake-up call we need to beat the impulse buy.
No matter the tips you must become disciplined in all your spending habits. Never let the excitement of the holidays or others expectations spend your hard earned cash. Financial health starts with responsibility and responsibility starts with the mind.