Holiday Shopping Tips!

Mikey insisted on getting a pumpkin at the farm and it hit me…the HOLIDAYS ARE COMING FAST!

Then the next day, I recorded a piece for The List Daily to share money saving tips and I realized yes indeed the holidays are already here since it is all we’re talking about!

Time to save, create a budget, and get shopping!

Here are some of my favorite holiday spending tips and strategies to help you navigate the holiday madness without ending the year with a holiday hangover! Sorry this will only help your financial hangover, not the wine hangover!

First let’s explore the binge buying craze that we love to refer to as Retail Therapy! Retail therapy received its name because to many people, shopping is a therapeutic way to deal with our emotions, or is it? When your emotions are heightened, you are in a state of stress, and fear, you fall into fight or flight mode. This means the blood rushes from your brain (yes where you do cognitive thinking) to the muscles that allow you to run or protect yourself. Knowing this, do you think you are in a clear state of mind to shop when you are in this state? The answer is not a chance, mama! I know this is hard to read, I too love to do some retail therapy, but it always leaves me with a hangover on my credit card. You too?

Before you enter the store, check in with yourself first with these few questions:

  • How are you feeling? 
  • What will hold you accountable to your shopping goals without going on a binge? 
  • The items I’m shopping for, are they a need, want, or wish? 
  • Will they get you closer or farther from your holiday goals?
  • Write them on a piece of paper and wrap it around your credit card if you need to!

Now you are entering the store, remember that stores know your shopping mind more than you do. They have laid out the store (online and physical stores alike) with your shopping behaviors in mind. The expensive items are in the front of the store, the sale rack in the back of the store. Then at checkout are all the shiny pieces to catch your eye as you wait and wait during the horrible holiday lines to check out. Five dollars here, twenty dollars there and now you just spent $100 on shiny things. This is called price anchoring, the store is telling you what is a bargain, what is expensive, and what you need to complete your new outfit. Instead of letting the store tell you, you can enter the store with your shopping budget in mind first. You can now move through the store knowing what to YOU is expensive, what is a sale, and what you should just walk away from. 

You get home and begin to tally up all your gifts for everyone. How many does Johnny get, how many does Sally have, and what on earth will I get my parents? You put so much pressure on yourself to give memorable gifts, a Hallmark Christmas that they will remember for the ages! So you buy more and more gifts (at least this is what I do, am I alone?) thinking this is a holiday to always remember. You try to put the stress of it all in the back of your mind, feeling guilty about it because all you want to do is spend time with your family. 

BUT then I realized the more stuff we give our kids, the less memorable it makes the holidays. Follow me here:

When you receive a gift, you either attach an emotion to it or move onto the next gift. If there are too many gifts, it’s impossible for people to attach an emotion to it. They simply move onto the next gift. Or if you give less and make them sentimental gifts, then the person receiving is much more likely to attach an emotion to the gift or moment of receiving. This is so important because once a strong emotion is attached to something, that becomes anchored in your subconscious. This makes the moment…MEMORABLE! 

More is better is not the case, instead less is memorable! Don’t you love how science now supports behavioral finance! 

You feel less overwhelmed and stressed, you feel lighter, you feel more caring, AND you create lasting memories with your loved ones! 

PS your bank account is happy too!

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