Overspending: 4 Tips to Avoid “First the Rush, Then the Reality”
With the holiday shopping season upon us, what better time to make a joint confession – most of us have spent more money than we should on someone or some item, only to regret it later. Call it wanting to bring joy into the life of others, hoping to make holiday magic happen for your family, or even gifting yourself... overspending can amount to a painful dose of buyer remorse. Worse yet, it can blow your budget and create financial setbacks that can take months from which to recover.
How do you NOT overspend? Here are 4 tips to consider.
1) It starts with how you think about your money. Think of your money as “pieces of freedom”. Every time you choose to either hold onto or spend your money, you’re making a conscious decision that will have an impact on your future financial security, your need to make a certain income, and your freedom from financial stress and worry. The intent here is not to take away the joy of shopping or giving but, instead, to make you stop and think before making impulsive purchases. Is the purchase worth giving away that amount of your freedom?
2) Set your budget before you start your holiday shopping, online or in store. Then, stick to it. Say you’ve budgeted $2000 this year, and you have 20 people on your list, the next step is to prioritize. If you plan or need to spend more on one person, then you’ll have to spend less on someone else. Don’t get trapped into thinking that you have to spend the exact same amount on everyone. Sometimes, the $20 “find”, the $10 homemade gift, or the most wonderful photo in an inexpensive frame can be far more cherished than yet another pricey shirt or sweater.
3) Remember all of those “quick runs” to the store and other expenses. They can add up! Wrapping supplies, decorations, school parties, holiday cards, shipping and postage, holiday outings, dinners with friends, party attire, hostess gifts, extra stops at the grocery, etc. Rather than work so hard to stay true to your gift budget, then blow it on these added expenses, set aside an envelope of cash for “extras”, and try to adhere to “when it’s gone, it’s gone”.
4) Think about how good you’ll feel in January.
Not overspending at the holidays is a great step toward financial comfort and freedom as the new year begins. Your diligence now is going to feel wonderful come January.
At Lenox, we walk you through our easy and comfortable financial coaching, including how to think about your money as providing not only financial security, but also happiness, comfort and freedom.
If you’re ready to discuss financial planning that will allow you to Fund a Life You Love®, we’d love to tell you more. Let’s talk. It’s your tomorrow.
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