It is this time of the year again as we prepare for Thanksgiving and the Christmas Season. During this time, many of us spend a lot of money especially during Black Friday Sales and Cyber Monday. There is so much marketing going on that convinces many of us to go and shop.
Some of us do not have any money but we have credit cards so we use our credit cards to purchase all sorts of stuff that we want but we perhaps do not need. Then when the bill comes, we are unable to pay even the minimum amount.
This article is to dissuade from you spending what you do not have. This article is also to encourage you to save.
Remember the Real Reason for the Season
Celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas for what they were intended for. Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims after their first harvest. The reason we celebrate Christmas is to remember the birth of Jesus even though we do not know the exact date of his birth.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are now used as a means for shopping where people are spending a lot of money on buying gifts. Even in the Turks and Caicos, we now have set aside a holiday called Thanksgiving which coincides with the day after the US American Holiday. This holiday is encouraging many of us to travel to the US to spend money.
Do Not Spend What You Do Not Have
Please do not spend what you do not have. You may ask how can I spend what I do not have. Using a credit card is away that many of us are spending that you do not have.
These Black Friday sales are a gimmick to get you into their stores. The truth of the matter is most times when you go into a store, you end up buying something else and a lot of times things you do not need. You may feel like you are winning because you are getting good deals. However, the only winner will be the store who is misleading you into thinking you are getting a discount. Obviously if you put aside money to save to shop for Black Friday, then this is a different issue.
Also, during this time of the year, the banks are also offering loans and even 100% financing for the purchase of a new vehicle. Before you get a loan, ask yourself “do I really need a loan for a vehicle. and can I afford to keep u the monthly payment?”. If the answer is no, then do not get the loan. Try save money your funds to purchase a vehicle. It does not have to be new.
Airlines may be running specials to convince you to travel. Do you really need to travel? Why don’t you purchase online or support the local business for your items by purchasing local? After all, by the time you purchase a ticket, rent a car, live in a hotel, and buy food everyday it may not be worth shopping abroad.
What Should You do to avoid spending what you do not have?
Control yourself and do not fall for the marketing tactics by these stores. If you do not have the cash, do not use a credit card or get a loan to shop for Christmas or Thanksgiving.
If you cannot control yourself, then do not go into the stores otherwise you will be tempted to buy something and most times you may purchase more than what you need.
If you want to shop and you really need these items, then put aside some money each month and when you accumulate the desired amount then you can use that to purchase what you need.
Always ask yourself this question before you buy something, do I really need it? Or do I want it? If you only want it and do not need it then do not buy it.
Reduce the number of credit cards you have. If you have more than one credit card, you may use all of them and face a huge bill. Retain only one credit card preferably one that has reward points. Use that card with the reward points and make sure you pay the bill in full before it becomes due. Of course, once you accumulate sufficient reward points, then use those points to pay for your tickets and hotels.
Take an inventory of what you have at home. You may discover that you have clothes in your closet you do not wear or perhaps you only wore it once. You may discover you have more than enough shoes. You may discover that your fixtures and furniture are in good order. Once you do an analysis of what you have in stock, you may come to a realization that you really do not need to buy any additional things.
Make your Thanksgiving and Christmas simple. Agree with your family that it will be simple. Rather than buying expensive things, have a budget of a certain amount to spend per person or just do simple things like a card expressing your love for your spouse or children. Do not commercialize these holidays. Spend quality with your family and friends.
Be content with what you have. If it is working and in good condition, then do not go and spend money to get a replacement. It is fine if your neighbors or friends are getting new things and you are not.
I know we should not be penny pitching with our finances but many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. If you are living paycheck to paycheck then do not get into additional debt by using credit cards to purchase items you perhaps do not need
Control your spending and try your best to have a savings plan. Put aside some funds each month into a bank account and do not touch it. The economy today may not be the same tomorrow.
Remember it is the store owners who are the real winners during this time. Many times, you purchase gifts or toys for your children and then less than a week later, they are destroyed. Rather than facing this, open an account for your child’s education.
Remember do not spend what you do not have and even if you have it, do not spend it if you do not need it.