The holidays are almost upon us and some persons wait all year for the opportunity to sink deeper into debt. While that might seem like an unreasonable thing to do, it is being done ferociously as we are encouraged by glossy brochures and attractively placed advertisements to ‘shop until we drop’.
Stores lure consumers into their doors with their promises of deals and marked down prices. The end result is that many people begin the new year blissfully unaware until it is too late that they have bought things they either did not need or could not afford.
There is a reason that people become depressed in the holidays as a main part of it seems to revolve on deciding how much money you can spend to have a good time.
The cost of entertaining, food and presents often accumulate to a substantial figure that leads to many pockets staggering under the strain.
Consumers often do not realize how much they have spent until the bills come rolling in because they have gotten caught up in the momentum of the season.
Is there any hope of saving money during the holidays?
I think there are several things consumers can do to ensure that their new year is still a bright one. Firstly, there must be an allowance made in the budget for holiday expenses.
This means that throughout the year funds are put aside in order to meet the extra expenses that consumers face at this time of the year.
Secondly, do not get caught up with the advertising campaigns, after all not every product is one that you must have regardless of the cost.
Examine whether the item is really necessary or if you can wait until next year when the prices might fall even lower than during this season.
Don’t get caught up with the idea of buying on credit now and paying later, as soon that philosophy will have you drowning in bills.
If you are in a situation where you entertain frequently, you might consider having ‘basket parties’ where guests add to the offerings on the menu. A number of local farmers are good sources of meat and ground provisions which sometimes can prove cheaper than buying from the supermarket.
Whatever the occasion, if you love giving gifts, why not try homemade ones or check garage sales for bargains. I have found a number of interesting items at these sales, especially when the persons are migrating and will accept any reasonable offer.
Often persons treat themselves during this time of the year but instead of buying a new phone what about buying phone accessories to enhance your current phone?
Electronic gadgets are always being updated, so whatever you buy now will have a newer version by tomorrow.
It makes better sense to buy something that you can live with for a while than struggle to keep up with the upgraded versions.
You could give yourself the best gift of all, which is starting the new year debt free!
How do you save money during the holidays? Drop me a line!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner online writer