Many stores hold sales both before and after Christmas to try and lure shoppers in with the promise of great discounts and bargains. However this is not just a time of bargain shopping – it is also a time when you could potentially blow a lot of cash on things you don’t really need.
If you’ve worked hard during 2014 to make sure you’ve been able to save up and invest money in places you’ve never done before, it can be very tempting to splurge once you get to Christmas. This is something we talked about last week. Yet it is also very easy to get pulled in by the many sales tactics that are used to ensure people come in and spend money – whether that’s online or offline.
If you know you’ll be tempted, perhaps the following things might be worth thinking about.
Do you really need it?
If you spot a bargain, take some time before you actually buy it. If you’re in a store, pick it up and carry it with you in case you do decide to buy it. But give yourself time to consider whether or not you really need it. Many sales play on people’s desire to feel like they’ve got a bargain. These techniques could work on you whether you like it or not, so try and cut down on the impulse buys by thinking practically instead.
Look at the actual cash
If you do spend in a store, look at the money you’d be spending instead of paying for items on a debit or credit card. Seeing the actual cash means you get a better idea of how much you’re parting with. It can be a good method of restricting what you buy or helping you realise you don’t need it in the first place.
Set the cash aside
If you successfully refrain from buying something, set the cash aside you would have spent on it. Invest it instead, or simply keep it in a jar for the time being. This will help you realise what you’ve saved. When the amount builds up you can always put it in a savings account.
Window shopping or no shopping at all?
Is it really possible only to window shop when you’re out and about and it’s sales time? Few of us could do this successfully. If you know you’ll be tempted, plan something nice to do at home instead. Maybe arrange a nice dinner with the family, or consider doing something that doesn’t involve going out.
The main thing to remember is that you do not have to participate in any sales before or after the festive season. While it can be good to get things if you are looking for affordable gifts, these sales can lead to unnecessary spending. If you have strict investment and savings plans, these can very easily be wrecked in a short space of time. Make sure you don’t wreck your plans as we ease into a New Year.