Get ready, get set GO ! You charge ahead into the stores staged for your arrival. You charge up the aisles one by one in search of THE right gift. You charge through the crowds with determination to get that last special item on the shelf before anyone else grabs it. You get to the cashier and in a breathless whisper, using what energy you have left, once again, you charge your purchases. WHY do you do that ?
It’s a psychological warfare and you have just lost. In today’s economy, believe me this is not a game it is warfare. The manufacturers, retailers, lenders, and bankers are ALL counting on your weakness to buy ! Buy ! Buy !
The good news you can conquer the spending urge. Set your strategy to win. Structure a plan by knowing who you are going to buy for and exactly how much you can afford to spend on each person. You know your weaknesses, so prepare guards to protect yourself. Use a detailed check list, have a system in place to keep you in control of your decisions.
Use ONLY CASH, and leave credit cards at home frozen in a glass of water. IF you insist on using your debit card remember to keep it inside your check register to document each transaction.
Right up front, do not spend money on wasteful things. Don’t buy poinsettias or mini pine trees to decorate your house if you don’t have a green thumb to keep them alive. Forget the ‘traditional’ food like fruitcake, eggnog, fancy nuts or peppermint candy if no one likes it. Buy a little less than what you think you need, everyone is eating holiday foods, and are trying to cut back on consumption. From the office parties, church functions, neighborhood gatherings, social functions, all of which are serving extra food, so cut back on the amount, offer smaller amounts in a wider variety.
Conquer the Mall by shopping alone unless you’re just browsing. Make major purchases before the stampede. Don’t go on crowded weekends when you’re bound to become to frustrated to bargain hunt. You will end up buying just anything to get the chore out of the way.
Wait until AFTER Christmas to buy items you spot that you want for yourself. And take a special envelope with you to put all receipts in while shopping, this way they won’t get lost shuffling the bags, you know there is always a need to return something. Plus, you will have to match your receipts to your check register, or worse to your credit card statement when it comes in.
Shop AFTER Christmas for stocking stuffers, greeting cards, decorations, and ‘Thank You Gifts” for your staff, postman, and service people. Use savings to pay down principal of debts.
Spectrum Resources (863) 967-0660 email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com
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