If I had a nickel for every time I hear or see the word ‘savings’ around Christmas time…. I would have a lot of nickels.
But … riddle me this…
If there are so many ‘savings’ to be had, why do I always end up spending way more than I can afford at Christmas?
CHECKMATE, CHRISTMAS SAVINGS PROMISES!!!!
That’s what I was thinking about this week as I managed to get most of my shopping done more than a week before Christmas (which is a week ahead of normal).
And suddenly I stumbled on a thought…
Retailers at Christmas keep using this word… savings…
… but it doesn’t mean what we think it means.
Savings are based on expectation.
If you spend more than you planned… you didn’t save.
So, here’s how you should save money this Christmas (you should do it… because I already failed at doing it).
How to save money at Christmas time:
Set realistic expectations
These come from two sides:
- How much money can I afford to spend?
- How much money am I going to spend anyways, no matter what I can afford?
When you combine these two numbers you get something resembling the truth.
Of course you want to buy nice things that your friends and loved ones will enjoy… but you also don’t want to hate your life in January and February.
So, really look at your numbers and decide how much you can afford to spend.
You can either do a big total Christmas number OR you can break it down per individual gift.
Don’t get sucked in by the promise of ‘savings’
Now, you have to ignore every ‘deal’ you see UNLESS it applies to the plan you’ve set up.
Savings only exist in the context of your plan, all other savings are lies that are trying to trick you out of your money.
Bask in the glory of true savings
When you set realistic expectations, it sets up a framework for you to kick ass.
It’s actually really possible to shave off $5 here, and $10 there.
It might not match up to the promise of hundreds of dollars off the original price on that thing that still costs a thousand dollars.
But at least they’re real.
And that’s the true magic of Christmas savings.
Want to start getting control of your money? How can I help?
Financial Planner/Opera Singer
Money never came naturally to me. In fact… I was a bit of a disaster. I remember (very clearly) what it feels like to be ‘financially out of control’.
And honestly, I still get stressed about money… that doesn’t stop… the difference is that now I have the tools to deal with that stress.
And those tools are what’s made it possible for me to build a life full of the things I want: art, creativity, travel, family and more.