Last week I talked about surviving the holiday season and Black Friday can be one of our largest budget busters. For some, especially parents it can feel like you’re trying to navigate a battlefield. You’re neck deep in shopping list with an overwhelming amount of sales ads coming at you. One trip to the mailbox yielded me 6 new must have catalogs and another day I found 11. Without a survival plan for our money, we can be one ad or guilt trip from either going into debt or increase the already debt you’re working so hard to pay off. If you have been saving a little each month throughout the year and have your Holiday Fund, GREAT job!! Let’s start this with simple and straight forward suggestions.
1. Organize Your Gift List and Resources
Write down who your top priorities are for gifts this holiday season. Next, look at your current spending plan to see how much you can spend on Black Friday or through the next few weeks without going into debt or compromising your other financial goals. Once you know this number, write it down, circled and highlighted where you can have it as a reminder.
2. Fine Tune your Gift Ideas
Using your written gift list of people, add a description or idea for exactly what you want to buy. If it is something that will need to be shipped, take into account longer transit times this year. Remember: a sale is not an excuse to buy an item you cannot afford!
3. Prepare a Shopping Strategy
Start now by researching your favorite online or store websites for “deals”. Be intentional and pay attention to shipping and/or handling fees. This is an area I have to watch with my Amazon Prime with the free shipping on most everything. An item may be $22 with free shipping but on the store website it’s $15 with flat shipping of $5 available. If you’re purchasing several gifts the difference can add up.
4. Shopping local plan
So many small businesses have struggled this year with major shopping events cancelled. In Houston the yearly Nutcracker Market is virtual with a reduced amount of vendors. Perhaps an idea this year is to shop your local mom and pop businesses looking for inexpensive gift ideas while supporting your neighbors. A couple of quick Google searches should yield several options for you.
5. Champagne taste – Beer paycheck
Growing up we used this term a lot to describe the expensive items we liked, with not quite the income to match. 🙂 If 2020 has brought employment surprises or reduced income hiccups, it’s ok. This will simply mean deciding who you’re going to give gifts to and how much you’re going to spend on each person.
Get creative! Some of the best gifts I ever received and still have were handmade or items passed down through family members. Baked goods, homemade bath soaps, needlework, old framed photos of previous family members are all great ideas. If you have young children or super cute animals, use these weapons of mass cuteness to your advantage:
- Snap pictures on your phone and print them at your local CVS or Walgreens. If you have a good home printer, you could print these yourself.
- Shop for inexpensive picture frames at your local dollar store, thrift store or Hobby Lobby
- Give as inexpensive gifts!
With a solid and focused plan you can emerge from Black Friday victoriously conquering tempting sales ads without debt. If you would like to have my Holiday Planning Guide emailed to you at no charge please send me an email. I spent several weeks working on pages for gift list, spending plans, online orders tracking, holiday card list, and so much more to help you navigate the holidays.
Email: Roxannefinancialcoach@gmail.com for your Free Holiday Planning Guide!