HOW TO BEAT THE CHRISTMAS FINANCIAL HANGOVER !
Of course, you will be inundated with sales, tempting discounts, flyers galore, decorated malls, images of Santa, and the endless Christmas music. All designed to part you from your money and overspend on gifts for family and friends, only resulting in added debt and a deeper financial hole you’ll be forced to climb out of.
Well, I know you will also hear from just about every credit counsellor and credit professional on the need to make a list and stick to a budget. The internet is full of this type of advice, all well intentioned and with sound research to back up the statistics. Do we need all the advice or are we going to give into temptation – not this year!
At the end of this article, I will give you the most important piece of advice to not overspend this holiday season and not have any nasty surprises come January and February when the post Christmas credit card statements arrive in your mailbox/inbox.
Shopping malls are magical places during the Christmas season; Christmas carols playing, the mall itself and the individual stores decorated as only malls and the stores can do. Santa and his helpers ready for the endless number of excited children all wanting to place their orders for that special “under the Christmas tree” gift. Of course all delivered by Santa and his reindeers.
Well it’s done. You and your family have spent a wonderful day at the mall. Purchased the gifts on your list, stayed within your budget, visited with Santa and maybe had a bite to eat at the food court. Well here’s that important piece of advice.
LEAVE THE MALL!
This is perhaps the most important piece of advice you should hear when it comes to keeping your finances under control during the holiday season!
Don’t decide to take one more turn around mall because as you know, the stores in the mall are for most part national chains who hire professional merchandisers to design and build window and in-store displays that are very tempting and designed to lure you into their store. A few years ago, my wife and I had completed the Christmas shopping and decided to make that last turn around the mall. Well, a store we had no interest in visiting had a very eye catching display at the back of the store which was very visible from the front door. In we went, just to take a look at the display and 25 bucks later we left the store. Gotcha! Something to think about – next time you see a store with an eye-catching display, keep in mind that these stores have paid big bucks to showcase these displays, and they’re counting on you opening up your wallet to pay for them! So, is a nice looking display worth your hard earned money?
Of course, there always is an item or two you couldn’t find on the family visit so I would advise to go back, leave the family at home, make the purchase and then “leave the mall”.
I hope this helps! We at Consumer Credit Counselling (www.debtfreecanada.ca) wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and holiday season and sincerely hope the New Year brings you good health and prosperity.