I have a not-so-frugal confession to make… I LOVE Black Friday. I shop ’til I’m ready to drop every year with my aunt and we get ALL our family’s Christmas shopping done in that one weekend.
It’s a long-time tradition in my family for adults to distribute envelopes to each other filled with our Christmas budgets for them on Thanksgiving. As a family, we grab the newspaper and comb through the Black Friday ads, decide what we want for Christmas and use the money in our envelopes to shop for for each other and ourselves in a fun, exhausting two-day experience.
This sounds crazy, I know. But after we’re done shopping, we give the things we’ve bought for ourselves to the people who gave us the money envelopes, who then wrap the presents and stick them under the tree for Christmas.
It results in a low-stress Christmas because:
- We get all our shopping out of the way quickly.
- Everyone gets exactly what they want and will love.
- We get to spend the time spent shopping together, bonding instead of running around on our own trying to come up with the perfect gift.
- After that weekend, we just get to enjoy the holidays.
The only problem is, that after a weekend of handing over cash constantly, it can be hard to stop spending. And once the budget is spent, if you keep spending, it could wreck your December budget or even have you accumulating debt that will follow you into the new year.
Here are three ways to stop the spending snowball in it’s tracks:
1: Keep out of the stores and off the shopping websites
There will always be more deals. Throughout the holiday, stores online and off will keep upping the percentage off offered, keep dragging out more showstopper deals and generally try to get you to buy as much as possible.
Once the budget is spent, you have to stop. Don’t fall for the ads or even the “perfect gift” that may suddenly appear in your feed. What you have is enough. You are enough and no gift will buy someone’s love.
2: Organize and wrap what you bought
One way to rekindle the joy of your purchases without spending more money is to “play” with what you’ve already bought for other people.
Now don’t unpackage their gifts, that would be horrible and tacky. But do pull everything out and organize it. Maybe spend some time carefully wrapping things and decorating them. Add loving touches like handwritten tags or messages.
Spending a couple hours making the gifts look great and stacking them under the tree will definitely get you in the holiday spirit and maybe let you feel like shopping time is complete.
Doing your wrapping early will also reduce last minute stress by eliminating one more thing off your to do list and make your home look more festive.
Whether it’s helping a family member or friend get ready for their Christmas, or helping a local charity, church or organization help your community members, giving back is an excellent way to make yourself grateful for what you have, as well as giving back to those in need.
A lot of people struggle at Christmas time, and even a small gift of time or your resources could be an enormous blessing.
- What are your holiday family traditions?
- What is your favorite charitable organization to give to?