December 4, 2017
Sales, targeted marketing, and “special offers.” The passing of Black Friday begins the official start of the holiday shopping season. From now until Christmas, and truthfully even a bit after Christmas, the stores will be filled with sales, “special offers,” and targeted marketing, all with one goal in mind, to get you to buy. After all, one of the traditions of the holiday’s is exchanging presents!
For most people, the gift they decide to give to others is something that they have bought, not something that they have made. Clothes, beauty products, electronics, jewelry, when you’re surrounded by one “good deal” after another, and even non-shopaholic’s are shopping more than usual, it can be very difficult to reign in the shopping beast.
Here are a few tips to help you stay on track while shopping during the holiday’s:
Hand Make Your Gifts
The easiest way to stop overshopping before it can start is to simply not go shopping! But that doesn’t mean that you have to forgo giving someone a gift with a personal touch. Instead of releasing your inner shopping beast, set free your inner baker for this year’s gifts instead.
Homemade goods, especially cookies, cakes, breads, and candy, are a personal and tasty alternative. If you aren’t a baker but want to give the gift of food, you can always assemble your gift. My favorite assembled homemade gift (but it’s not baked) is a mug or mason jar filled with hot chocolate, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. The presentation is lovely and there’s no baking involved. Another option would be to put together a fruit basket. Simply buy fruit from the supermarket and the basket and other decorating supplies from a craft store, then assemble.
Trim Your Gift-Giving List
Before you shop, take a moment to decide if your gift-giving list is up to date. Is everyone on your gift list really necessary? Have grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. grown-up or have children of their own? Instead of giving the adults presents from a store, give them the gift of your time, such as a babysitting offer to young parents or cooking and cleaning for an elderly family member.
Write A Shopping List
Shopping lists help you to plan ahead. You’ll know who are shopping for and what your budget is, if you write it down before you shop. If you really want to make your shopping list effective, jot down a few ideas or perhaps even the exact gift you want to buy before you go.
Shop With A Buddy
If you have trouble controlling the urge to spend, bring along a buddy and tell them your plan ahead of time. This is not purely a social shopping visit, your shopping buddy will have a job to do and that is to help you stay on track with both your budget and your shopping list. Inform them of what your goal is before you go to the stores and give them full permission to question your shopping so that you do not fall succumb to a lack of impulse control.
Leave Credit Cards At Home
It’s quite common for people to shop with credit cards so that they get the rewards points. But if you have a shopping addiction this is a recipe for trouble. Instead, set yourself up for success by shopping with cash instead. Time and again, people have demonstrated that they consider purchases more carefully when paying in cash. Plus, when your wallet is empty you know that you are done!
Hopefully these tips will help you navigate what is a tricky time of year for shopaholics. And remember, the holiday season is more about spending time with the people in your life that are important to you, and less about the presents that you give them.
How do you stop overshopping during the holiday’s?