Yes, I know for many of you, it’s too late. You got up early Black Friday and fought the crowds or spent most of your day Cyber Monday shopping online. Did you get wrapped up in the emotion of the moment? Did you buy something you did not need or should have gone without?
It’s easy to tell if you are an emotional shopper. What drives your desire to shop? Do you shop when you feel like shopping or when you need something? Look in your closet, your basement or the garage. Do you see things in there that you haven’t touched for years? Maybe there are things in there that you’ve actually never touched.
When it comes to working with our money, we should never be emotional. If we are going to reach financial success in our lives shouldn’t the lure and emotion of Black Friday and Cyber Monday send us running in the other direction?
Yes, the spirit of the holidays makes most spend more than we should. After all, giving feels good, but spending is a high just like a drug that we might take. Many of you are struggling with your budget. Some of you are not on track to meet your financial goals. Many of you need to save more to retire safely when you want. Aren’t your long-term financial goals more important than the short-term satisfaction that comes with the holiday highs of spending and giving?
Don’t let the emotion of the season hinder your financial goals. Here are five ways to make a happier holiday:
- Shop with a list. Almost 40% of all purchases made online are made on impulse. No matter where you shop, whether it’s at the store or online, do it with a list!
- Buy only what is on your list, nothing else. 66% of adults, who made an impulse purchase, later regretted that decision. Avoid buyer’s remorse, don’t buy on impulse.
- Only add items to your list that you can afford. Where there’s a will to buy something on impulse, credit cards offer the way. If you have to open a credit card to make a purchase, you can’t afford the item.
- Pay with cash. Leave the plastic at home. According to a CardHub.com study, consumers charged $28.2 billion in the second quarter this year—the largest buildup in six years! Increased economic confidence doesn’t mean you should whip out the credit card.
- Learn to enjoy the holidays by spending time with people, not spending money. When we overspend and rack up debt, it brings stress and that stress affects our family. Do your family a favor; spend less of your money and more of your time with them this holiday season.
You have probably seen this before, but I truly believe that for you to have a “Happy Holiday,” you need to get your spending and giving habits under control. Success rarely happens without intention. Our financial success depends on good habits, just like maintaining our health and weight does too.