Is What You Buy Really Worth It?
This is an article “Is What You Buy Really Worth It?” by Marc Primo
This year brings a unique Christmas season where most presents will be ordered and purchased online due to the current health crisis. With that comes additional costs like shipping which may require greater commitment on your part in terms of spending. Before you jump into buying gifts for Christmas online, reviewing your savings while staying frugal is always the best way to avoid making all the wrong purchases.
Most people are quick to assume that they have more purchasing power when the holiday comes because they often receive bonuses from work. What often happens though is that they quickly run out of money and find themselves with empty pockets come the New Year. To avoid that from happening, here are some economical solutions that can help you decide which purchases are truly worth it and which ones you should avoid like COVID-19.
Make time to review your budget
Don’t let Black Friday fool you into thinking that it’s the start of your early Christmas shopping spree. People with higher financial IQ always set their plans for gift-buying much earlier than that as promos happen throughout the year. However, it’s easy to understand how you can’t pass off some good bargains during Black Friday so it would be best to allot some of your savings for the big day as well.
One thing we can learn from Santa himself is how to develop a gift-giving strategy early on in the year which can help you save more time and money. While Santa reviews his ‘naughty or nice’ list, determine which presents are more practical for the ones you love so that you can budget your savings more efficiently. Try to pick presents that tend to be more useful than just simply impress the receiver and set a corresponding budget for each name on your Christmas list accordingly.
Track your spending
Not tracking your spending during the holiday season is like setting up something to worry about by January. Keeping a tab on all of your expenses for gifts and parties prevents you from overspending and going dry that you’ll have to apply for a loan just to pay off some of your bills the following month.
Set aside a good portion of your savings for next month’s budget and try to avoid dipping your hands on your cookie jar savings if you have one. Link your spending to your e-wallets or bank accounts so you’ll have a clear record of your purchases or better yet, download a budgeting app like EveryDollar to help you track what goes in and out of your pockets better.
Resist the holiday marketing
Every year, Americans spend over $700 billion during the holidays and most of them are due to retail spending. Don’t be too quick on the gun when you see price drops and mall sales because in reality, you might just be spending your money on not-so-good deals after all.
Stick to your budget and gift-giving plan and don’t be swayed by retail marketing during the holidays. Always keeping your money smarts throughout the year will ensure you won’t deplete your savings quickly and might even get you the best bargains out there.
Celebrate a modern Christmas
Most people still rely on traditional gifts to give to friends and family even though we are already in the digital age. Why send those holiday cards when you can send your warm greetings via email for free? Avoid sticking to Christmas traditions so you can save more and use last year’s Christmas decors or buy a reusable tree rather than purchase new ones every year.
Traditional spending can be quite expensive so try to cut back on those candy canes for the little ones (who by the way you’ve already bought gifts for), or those cookies and glasses of milk for Santa on Christmas Day (we all know he can lose a little weight anyway). The little savings you get by doing away with some of the traditional stuff can go a long way in helping you sort out other expenses especially during the financially challenging times of the season.