How to avoid a holiday hangover from overspending
Black Friday is coming! Everywhere you look there’s a good deal to be had. And this year, most people aren’t even going to the stores, but that won’t stop the sales from coming to you. They’re showing up in your inbox, just sitting in your pocket waiting for you. With the click of a button, items will magically show up on your doorstep.
After a roller coaster of a year, we need to be more intentional than ever with holiday spending. Now, don’t get me wrong. I want you to enjoy this season. I want you to have some nice stuff. I just don’t want stuff to have you. Here are a few tips to avoid an overspending holiday hangover:
Have a list of wants vs. needs
It’s easy to spend money on the wrong priorities, especially around Christmas. Keep all your items in two categories: wants and needs. Take care of your needs first, then see what money is left over in the budget. Be grown up enough to tell a want it needs to wait.
Make a budget
Write out a budget for what you can afford to spend, not what you want to spend. When it comes to Christmas shopping, make a detailed list of who you’re buying for and put a specific dollar amount by their name. And don’t forget all the extra parties and travel expenses that come up this time of year.
Don’t sign up for a guilt trip
Christmas might look different this year, and that’s okay. If you lost your job, don’t feel guilty because you can’t spoil the little ones like normal. On the flip side, let your friends and family off the hook if they can’t afford to exchange gifts or travel to see you. Let’s choose to support each other.
Watch out for emotional spending
The holidays bring up all sorts of feelings. It’s the easiest time of year to justify overspending, because we’re in a celebratory mood. But there’s also a lot of stress. Don’t go shopping if you’re feeling lonely, feeling sorry for yourself, or you’re just plain bored. Also, if you think you want to drop a lot of cash on a big purchase, wait at least 24 hours before you make your decision to avoid impulse buying.
Be on guard when you’re online
Marketers are smart. But remember, seeing the same ad over and over for that fancy watch you’ve had your eye on doesn’t mean it’s meant to be. Don’t let their target marketing knock you off your target goal of making your financial dreams a reality.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to focus on what we can control. This is a chance to regain some lost ground, and do things differently. By being intentional with holiday spending, you’ll avoid waking up to an empty bank account in January – and you’ll make progress towards your wealth-building goals.
Chris Hogan is a two-time No. 1 national bestselling author, financial expert and host of The Chris Hogan Show. He is a frequent guest on Fox News, Fox Business, Yahoo! Finance, and the Rachael Ray Show. Since 2005, Hogan has served at Ramsey Solutions, where he gives practical money advice on retirement, investing and building wealth. Follow Chris on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube or online at chrishogan360.com