Let’s face it, as much as I love Christmas there has been a lot of thought and strategy put into it by marketers to get you spending as much as you can (and cannot!) on this key commercial push of the year. So as a consumer, we need to train ourselves a little to not go too crazy on the Christmas front otherwise we will be berating ourselves in January when all the big old Christmas spending hangover comes home to roost. So today, I’m going to outline three Christmas spending traps and how you can avoid them this year along with a debt free Christmas.
Buying the “must have” or “on trend” items
The latest this, the newest that, the merchandise from the Disney movie of the moment. Whatever it is, if it’s hot, you can bank on the fact you will be paying over the odds for it. Although you may have had a lot of pester power unloaded into your ear about these items that apparently every kid or person needs, DO NOT SUBMIT! A) Nobody will even think or care about any of these items come the new year and B) If someone still wants or “needs” these items when the hype has died down, then you can pick them up when the price has been deflated along with the hype.
Getting sucked into the Christmas shop
You just popped into the garden centre to get a Christmas tree and before you know it you’re sucked into the Christmas shop when a bajillion Gisella Graham fanciful decorations luring you into a mesmerizing “buy me buy me” dance! Step away from the sparkles now. A) Do you really need any more decorations (probably not, if you’re anything like me) B) The worst possible time to buy decorations is at Christmas! Wait for the sales instead, not as fun I know but far more savvy and if you really can’t resist the urge – go online and find them on eBay instead where they will most likely be a fraction of the price.
Shopping without a plan or a list
Unless you plan on jumping off a retail cliff into an abyss of purchasing opportunities and spending then do not….I repeat DO NOT…go Christmas gift shopping without a plan or list. Idiotic spending is what the commercial world is banking on to bolster up their profit margins and they will do everything in their power to confuse you into spending blindly. They have been planning this for MONTHS! You need a list, you need a budget, and you need self-imposed limits on spending. Oh also, avoid last minute spending at all costs – it’s spending Armageddon. If you’re serious about not falling into the misguided spending trap then I would seriously recommend downloading one of the many Christmas gift budget spreadsheets out there.
What Christmas spending traps do you struggle with? Perhaps there are others that you would like to add? And if you have any tips for avoiding them please feel free to share in a comment below.
If you do find yourself falling into Christmas spending traps and struggling to clear debt as a result click here for more information on what to do. You can also check out my frugal Christmas tips here.
*This is a collaborative post