5 Tips to Spend Less $$ this Holiday Season

Is it just us, or is the holiday season starting sooner and sooner??

We remember the days when Thanksgiving was the official starting line for Christmas activities to begin (putting up decorations, etc.)… Now, the times are strikingly different as industries compete to inch the starting line up further and further each year.

Without question, the commercialization of the holidays in the U.S. continues to have a profound effect on our financial behaviors. The amount of money spent on holiday gifts by American consumers has increased each year since 2008 (with the exception of 2012). Shopping frenzies like Black Friday (which, for some companies, starts on Wednesday 🤯) and Cyber Monday lure us into a feverish run to capitalize on the best deals.

At some point, we must ask ourselves “why do we so easily give in to the pressure to spend more than is necessary?”… and “what’s the end result?”

To change our behavior, we must start by changing our perspective.

To change our behavior, we must start by changing our perspective.

Now hear this – We’re not saying that you should lock up your pockets and be a “Scrooge” during this time of the year. However, we can each make wiser and more meaningful decisions with our spending while still enjoying the moments of the season!

 

Here are five ways you can be wise with your spending leading up to the holidays:

  1. Set a spending plan. According to a recent Gallup poll, the average U.S. resident is projected to spend approximately $920 in 2019 on holiday gifts. Evaluate who you desire to give a gift to and why. From there, consider how much you are willing to spend per person. Really take a moment to think about this…. it’s a simple way to help you keep somewhat of a budget when buying gifts.
  2. Get creative with your gift-giving.
    • Do a gift exchange (or “White Elephant”) with your family and/or close friends: in this case, each person buys a gift for ONE person instead of a gift for each person. This will absolutely cut down on the number of gifts you buy and can create a memorable experience for everyone involved.
    • Deposit money into an investment or high-yielding savings account for someone: we like to call these “gifts that keep on giving”!
  3. Think “less” in terms of how much food you buy. Food is one of the key staples of Thanksgiving and the December holidays; however, this is also the time of the year in which a lot of food is wasted. If you’re usually the one prepping the family feasts, try scaling back the amount of food you buy (that way you don’t have to figure out what to do with all that leftover turkey!). Remember, less is often more.
  4. Give fewer presents, add more presence. Relieve yourself of some pressure. You may desire to show others that you’re thinking of them, but this doesn’t mean you have to buy EVERYONE you know a material gift. There are numerous other things you can give to those you love, like baked treats, a thoughtful phone call (these still exist!), or even an in-person visit (again, less presents, more presence!)
  5. Say “no” to unnecessary credit and credit card debt. If you can’t afford to pay for what you are purchasing in full (or in the next 3-6 months based on your current income stream), just say “no”. The store credit card that the cashier offers you “for an extra 10% off your purchase” may be tempting, but at the end of the day is it really worth it?

 

Needless to say, the holiday season is truly one of the “most wonderful times of the year,” and it can be wonderful without going too deep into your pocket. After all, the value of life “does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” (Luke 12:15) Let’s place value back into the things that truly matter during this time of the year.

Use wisdom, strive to maintain contentment, and give thanks to The Lord always!

Running with you into this holiday season!

Khalil & AJ

 

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