Avoiding impulse-shopping during the holiday season

Holiday season is fast approaching. Friends, family, food and gifts are all on the menu. Many will have gatherings, parties and various events to go to. To some, the holidays are synonymous with fun and celebration. For others, it is an added stress, especially if there is an existing financial strain.

A budget under attack!

Let’s face it, even the best budget is under attack over the Holidays. If your finances are already precarious, the holidays can often cause additional problems. Different expected and unexpected expenses can pop up. The different demands that the holidays bring along with them result in spending extra money. It’s the season of giving and we might be tempted to get a gift for a long list of people. This can add up quickly between family, friends, coworkers, neighbours, babysitter, teacher, and the list can go on.
We have all been through it: you walk into a store; there are red and green decorations on the walls, maybe a Christmas tree, holiday music is playing, there are rebates and specials throughout the store.
You went into the store with the intention of buying a few items for a specific reason. Then you see the perfect product for your sister-in-law, so you buy it. You continue walking and you spot what your neighbour was wishing for, so you buy it. This can go on for a while and before you know it, you have just spent hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars you did not plan on spending.

Back to basics: the benefits of a list… and checking it twice!

One of the pitfalls of gift giving is buying on impulse. So how do you stay on track? Bring your focus back to basics! That means concentrating on what is important to you. Make yourself a list, just like Santa!
Santa made sure to only include some children and checked it twice to make sure the list was correct before going out and giving out his gifts. You need to do the same.
Holiday list tips:
1- Make a list that includes everyone you want to give to.
2- Then, look at your list over again with a more realistic view. Can you really afford all that?
3- Adapt the list: either by adjusting the budget you allow to each present, or by limiting the
number of people on your list.
4- Refer to the list (often) while shopping.


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