The cheerfulness is right in the name there, isn't it? You get through your day of turkey & holiday peace, and then... doomsday!
But, stampedes and nonsense aside, we all know that Friday (through Monday, often) is the time to shop. Christmas is coming, and we are all just trying to stretch our dollars as far as we can. I am certainly not above special event & sales shopping, personally, or (as you can read below) as a retailer.
How can we be smart about getting the good deals, and maximizing our budgets, without going totally overboard? It is soooo easy to get swept up in the excitement and one-time-only and fun of it all; it is very easy to still overspend, because we buy all kinds of extra things that were too good to pass up.
I wrote a guide earlier this year that is essential Shop Good: it's how to shop smarter, spend better, avoid buyer's remorse, and really to be able to shop with confidence & with the satisfaction of money well spent. Here are a few principles straight from it that can really help direct your shopping next weekend (and throughout the holidays):
This week, spend a bit of time going over what you might be looking for over the weekend. Decor? Gifts for your brother, mom, daughter? Scope out the stores or sites that you might want to buy from and plan out a list. When we are without a plan in the heat of the moment, marketing pressure (such as a countdown timer) will most often encourage us to buy-not-think.
Writing a list is the #1 way to save money this year. Even simply being aware of things like — 1) who/what you need to buy for, 2) what funds are available/desirable for that purpose, 3) where are the places and what are the items that might fit the bill — will make an enormous difference in how satisfied you will feel that you've made the best purchases for your money.
No, we're not in college and nobody needs to present their findings. But, even a little minor looking around will go a long way. Who is having a sale? How long will it go on? Can I buy X thing somewhere else? What is the fine print? If I miss out on the sale, what is the difference between what I will pay (or not receive) down the line?
It is so easy to become panicked about missing out! But, even within the day or weekend of a sale, we can take a little time. Fill a cart in the morning and then go get a coffee and think about it, or return to the site later in the day. Or, if you've spent the week list-making & researching, then buy away!
Happy (Good) Shopping!
The Enneagram is super popular right now as a typology of nine interconnected personality types. I am familiar with the Enneagram and while it hasn’t been a particularly impactful tool for me personally, I value the depth of the insight and the common language it provides.
Similarly, Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies framework provides definition and a vernacular to what is already present in ourselves. For me, this one has resounded like a deafening gong in my ears & in my life!
Over the last year or so, I've made a conscious priority to read books written by — or written from the perspective of — people different than me. As a white, rich person (and I have a job, a bachelor's degree, a house, 2 cars, and 3 computers, so that sounds pretty rich to me; maybe not in the 1%, but high enough), I have a pretty limited perspective. Also, our culture is essentially designed for me to thrive, so it's easy to take that all for granted.
Books, both non-fiction and creative stories, have a way of landing you right in the viewpoint of an other, and I am so grateful for that gift; it's one of the best things about reading.
Conversations about money can be awkward, but having uncomfortable talks, at age appropriate times, will set up our children's essential, lifelong skill in handling money well. Allowance is a key tool to teaching these money management skills.
Money, along with politics and religion, is often considered impolite conversation to have outside of yourself & maybe (hopefully?) your spouse. How much do we spend on groceries, gas bill, or date nights? Is this car payment normal? We are often afraid, or at least reluctant, to compare any of these details… R. Paul Stevens said the proverbial fig leaf from the Garden of Eden has moved from our naked bodies to our bank accounts!
Add kids into these conversations, and there is an additional layer of hesitancy: kids can be notorious loud-mouths!