As we head into the holiday season with the endless gift lists and sudden sales, emotional spending is at an all-time high. All of the sudden you look around, your budget is busted and you might have even spent your savings or gotten yourself into debt. Here are some emotional purchases that might make your holidays a little less merry:
Sale, Sale Sale!
We have all walked past red and yellow signs in the mall shouting “SALE!” and thought, “I can’t let this deal slip away!” Wrong. You can. Think to yourself, did I budget this item into this month’s expenses? Is this shirt/lotion/toy something on my pre-determined shopping list? If the answer is no, then simply walk away. These impulse purchases, although small, add up over time and can be a huge blow to your budget.
To help offset the inevitable “sale seduction” avoid stores that commonly lure you in. Unsubscribe from Emails that always have you spending money you haven’t allotted. Or create a “fun money” section of your budget to plan for these impulsive shopping sprees.
Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years… These are all major holidays that we want to celebrate to the nines. Only problem? Each one costs a small fortune. Don’t let the excitement of the season and holiday planning ruin your bank account. No one will notice if you scale down the food, decor and gifts – spending time with friends and family is the most important part of the season anyway.
You have worked all year long and need a break away from it all. Your cousin is getting married in Hawaii and the pristine beaches look just perfect right about now. You and your loved one are celebrating a milestone anniversary that calls for babysitter and trip away from the kids stat. All of these celebrations are great excuses to pull out the credit card and book that flight. But hold on just a minute. Have you saved for this trip? Could you pay in cash for the vacation if you had to? You wouldn’t want to blow all of your savings on a big trip at the end of the year and start off 2019 in debt. Instead look for some unique staycation options that can be just as special and much less expensive.
Want to DIY that dining room table, but will probably end up calling a professional to fix your “DI-Don’t”? Thinking about buying that new big screen TV to watch your favorite holiday movies? All of us want the home straight from HGTV, but take a second and ask yourself this question: Is my home livable without it?
Although you may want to get a new dishwasher or re-tile the bathroom, if you cannot pay for the service or item in cash, wait until you do have the funds to cover the project. Another great tip is to plan your home repairs, renovations and upgrades well in advance. Set up a budget so that any major home expense can be paid for at the time of purchase or service. By setting up a fund in your account to cover these home needs (and adding in a little cushion for unexpected costs) you can can keep your stress levels low all season long.
Controlling your emotional purchases throughout the holidays is key to staying on budget and protecting your savings. Start to notice what triggers you to make emotional purchases and avoid temptation at all costs. By creating better money managing habits now, you will start off next year with less debt, stress and items to return!
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