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!
Our production partner, Basha, began in one little office in Dhaka, Bangladesh — the most densely populated city in the world. Over the many years they have been in business, creating kantha textiles & jewelry, they have expanded: both in number of staff, and also locations.
It was helpful for some women to leave the norm of their old life environment, to get away, to start fresh in a new city. So, Basha created different offices in varied locations. They established a girls' home to safely house daughters & other vulnerable young women as they come of age.
As Basha has continued to identify the great need of women in Bangladesh, there is another area they have expanded: actively seeking women in brothels & whispering the potential of a new life.
As I was packing for our first family international flight (to London UK), I wanted to make sure that we had everything we needed to make our overnight journey the most comfortable. As you know, those flights can be a little chilly - so I wanted to bring blankets for all of us. Naturally, I wondered...
Can I bring a blanket onto a plane?
In short: YES! According to the TSA you are allowed to both check a blanket in your luggage and to bring a blanket on a plane within a carry-on (and this also includes electric blankets). You can even bring your own blanket in your arms as you would a jacket or hat, without it counting towards your carry-on or personal item limits or paying any extra fees.
When I got married as a baby (4 days over 21), I was still a student. Then, we both worked for a bit, then we had babies, and then my husband was a student. For almost all of those years, our "budget" was: try to not spend money.
This head-in-the-sand tactic has served us... ok... BUT, now that I'm pretending to be a real grownup (at age 35 — youngest children tend to be late to the responsibility party), I'm taking a new approach!
After Christmas, I started using You Need a Budget (YNAB) to track every expense & plan for future spending. Two months in, here’s what I think.
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