BY: TASHA DILLARD
This weekend is the last shopping weekend before the big day......Christmas!! We are hit with numerous advertisements, sales, and much more during this time of year to help us (more like confuse us) decide what to give to those that we care about. With all those flickering sale signs and dazzling bright ads, we sometime become hypnotized and spend more than we planned to. In hopes to prevent you from succumbing to this hypnotic induced coma, I have come up with a few steps for you to arm yourself with to fight off that warm fuzzy feeling!
1. Develop a list of people you are gifting. Ok, this may be a hard task to do. However, you may have to accept that your budget cannot take on buying gifts for everyone. I believe your (true) friends and relatives will understand. And if you find that you simply cannot bare leaving someone out, develop creative gift ideas or seek low cost/ inexpensive gifts! It's the thought that counts anyway right?
2. Create a gifting budget. Once you have determined who you are gifting, develop your budget and stick to it! Write it down and take it with you! Put it in your iphone, blackberry, droid, or whatever type of phone you may have!! Email it to yourself!! Do this so that you may refer back to it when you are shopping! (your pockets will thank you later!)
3. Leave your credit cards at home! I suggest this because you want to avoid adding holiday debt on top of old debt you may already have. *Caution* Be careful taking large amounts of cash during the holidays also. I suggest purchasing a re-loadable visa/debit card with the money you have budgeted to spend for gifts. Once the money is gone, the shopping is over!
4. Use the sales to your advantage. Yes, take advantage of free online shipping, early bird sales/specials, free gifts when you purchase multiple items (the free gift becomes another gift for someone else), etc. Shop smarter and not costly!!
5. Oh, as a last reminder.....you are not shopping for yourself!! Ever end up with the intent of purchasing gifts for others and realize that everything you have bought was for yourself?? Fight the urge to buy for yourself while you are supposed to be gifting others! I know this is easier said than done but you can do it!!
I hope these few suggestions will come in handy when you are being bombarded with all those flashy holiday sales, signs, and other propaganda. Happy Shopping!!