Go shopping without the guilt [Money Tip and Action Steps to manage the pressure to spend]

by Belinda Rosenblum

Are you feeling the pressure too?

As we begin to head into the holidays, many of my clients and students are already beginning to feel the pressure to be an outstanding “consumer.”

You want to buy nice things for yourself and those you care about AND you want to be responsible and not add to your debt (or put yourself into debt).

It doesn’t help that the retailers have created some really great deals that even start on Thanksgiving Day itself – no more waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday!

Holiday gift list

Ironically, the newest 2017 savings stats now show our savings rate (the ratio of personal saving to disposable personal income) has decreased from 5.4% to 3.1% in the United States.

Translation: Americans are spending 96.9% of the money they bring in every month – so saving only $30 for every $1,000 brought in – it’s no wonder so many feel they are on a financial hamster wheel with nothing left over each month!

Oh boy… so what’s an “owner of their money” to do this time of year?

MONEY TIP: Stay strong as the Owner – careful not to take a “what’s the point” or even a victim mentality (where you spend and then assume you’ll just “figure it out” later.) Because really, do you even remember all that you bought – or received – last year… but do you recall the angst of paying those bills…?

ACTION STEPS: Instead, follow these 3 easy steps so you can enjoy the holidays without the stress or pressure to spend:

1  – Make a PLAN. Set a budget of the total dollars that you’ll feel good about spending on holiday gifts. Then determine a per person spending amount and then total the list. Be creative if you need to so you can spend less and still stick within your plan. Include a little cushion for someone who gives you a gift but you forgot on your list. Lastly, ensure you know how you will pay this total amount.

If there are items you want yourself and aren’t sure where the money will come from, then mention the items to your own family members and friends who would likely love some clues on what to get you – everyone wins with this strategy!

Especially if you have children, it is so easy to make a huge list and quickly get overwhelmed. Instead, be generous with sharing some of the items with your other relatives who would like to get the kids something they really want. Plus, start to ask around on Yard Sale or Mom’s Facebook groups to see if any other families are clearing out their homes to make room for their own holiday gifts coming.

2 – Head to the stores with a specific LIST and get some of the best deals of the year. Be intentional not impulsive when you buy – and a list is crucial so you buy what you really want NOW (not just what you may need at some time in the future or what is “on sale”) and stick within your plan for your family and friends.

And oh boy, this can be hard to do! With all the displays, sales, and “deals,” this definitely can take more self-control. But don’t get sold to. Actively buy what you want to meet your plan. If you want to buy something not on the plan, then consider how you can exchange that new item for an existing item on the list.

3 – Cash in on GIFT CARDS! Take action now to use some of those accumulating credit card points to buy gift cards to the places you know you prefer to shop. Plus dig up some of those store credits and gift cards, and cash those in too. Here’s more scoop on maximizing (and exchanging) gift cards and leveraging store credits: http://ownyourmoney.com/go-shopping/.

BONUS: Before you head out with your list, check your closet for any items that still have tags on them that you will return “someday”. Find the receipt and then return them to the store (while you’re at the mall), so “someday” becomes today with more cash in your pocket!

If aren’t ready for this much self-control, then you may still want to consider staying home AND off the computer. (Or just starting easy with a book to make this entire money thing a lot easier – see the PS below.) Hang with that great family and those wonderful friends you have who love you…

THE PAYOFF: With just a little bit of planning and an empowered owner approach, you get to actually enjoy these next few weeks AND the new year to come without any added debt burden. (Kind of like weight, debt can be much easier to put on than take off, so better to choose wisely from the start…)

Add a quick comment below and let me know your tips and tricks for thriving in the holiday season.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Since the holidays are usually all about giving to others, and there is almost a little bit of shame when we spend on ourselves, I want to clear that all up RIGHT NOW.

So I’m doing a BOGO – 2 books for the cost of 1 – of my signature book:

Self-Worth To Net Worth: 12 Keys To Creating Wealth Inside and Out.swnw book image

With a Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO), you get to give a book as a gift AND you get one to further your own financial well-being in 2018.

Just make sure you get your books at www.SelfWorthBook.com now. This offer ends November 30, 2017, or until we fulfill the first 30 orders and clear out our inventory.

(Just order and pay for one book – we will ship you out two!)

I’ll even autograph and personalize them for you and your giftee if you drop us an email to info@ownyourmoney.com when you place the order.

Get your copy now — Let the JOY of the holidays begin!

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