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3 tips for creating a holiday shopping budget

BT Toronto | posted Friday, Nov 11th, 2016

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    • Tip 1:  Figure out what the holidays are for.
      • You need to get to the core question of “what are the holidays for?”
      • Family time, gift-giving, activities, shows.
      • Distinguish between traditions and habits.
      • Traditions: Something we hand down.  Things we do every season that are deeply important to us.
      • Habits: An acquired behaviour that is involuntary.
      • You and your spouse and family: Holidays are not an individual thing.

 

  • Tip 2:  Renegotiate the terms.
    • Change can be difficult. Especially around something some emotional.
    • Who: Pick one of your family members who you think will be able to think differently, and talk to them first.  (Don’t go to most change averse person first. Build some support).
    • What: Say, “Looking ahead to holidays and how we do it this year.  What could we keep? What could we do differently so we have more of what we want?”
    • When: Now. So people haven’t shopped.  And the emotions are running as high.
    • Why: Align spending with what the holidays are about, so you can lower stress.
    • Pitfall:  Making it personal.  “You don’t want to exchange gifts anymore, therefore you don’t love me”.
    • More likely it’s because I want to simplify my life and use money for other things.

 

  • Tip 3:  Develop a holiday spending budget.
    • Have a number and stick to it.  It doesn’t even matter what the number is.
    • If you have no money worries.  Don’t do this.  Do some eggnog shooters and go shopping.  But most people aren’t in that situation.
    • List everything.  And I mean everything.
      • Gifts
      • Immediate family
      • Relatives
      • Friends
      • Teachers
      • Host/hostess gifts.
      • Charity
      • Food
      • Liquor
      • Entertainment
      • Clothing
      • New outfit for the holiday party
      • Travel
      • Cabs to parties
      • Babysitters
      • Gas to drive to Sarnia
      • Flights
  • Make some trade-offs.
  • We don’t do big gifts as a couple.
  • Our family does almost no gifts.
  • Figure out how you’re going to pay for it.  Let’s say it is $1,500.  Where is that money going to come from?  Where are you going to cut back to cover that amount?
  • Shop with a list and stick to it.  Virtually impossible, I know.  It is you against the retailer.  Especially now that I have kids.  “Abby would like that”.

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