Get Your Holiday Shopping Done Early to Avoid Overspending this Christmas Season (Technorati) Technorati | (Del.icio.us) Del.icio.us | (Digg) Digg | (Blinklist) Blinklist | (Comment) Comments (9)

Believe it or not, Christmas is only two weeks away. This leaves only 14 more shopping days until the big day, and the stress level of the general public (aka those of us that don’t have our Christmas shopping done yet) is reaching its annual high. With stores offering sales shoppers “can’t” refuse, malls being overcrowded this time of year, and individuals rushing to finish their shopping on time, it is certain that many people will fall victim to compulsive shopping.

Dictionary.com defines a compulsion as “a strong, usually irresistible impulse to perform an act, esp. one that is irrational or contrary to one’s will.” In other words, people that ordinarily watch their money carefully, will make rushed decisions they may regret later. As the number of shopping days decreases not only will people be less likely to shop around for the best deals, but they will also pay for conveniences they ordinarily wouldn’t need, such as in-store wrapping and super-rush deliveries.

How can we avoid overspending due to compulsive shopping?

  • Begin Christmas shopping early. Shop earlier in the season to avoid feeling rush and to steer clear of the crowded malls during the holiday season.
  • Plan ahead! Before heading to the mall or making a purchase online, have an idea of what you’d like to get each person on your list. This will help narrow your focus so that you are not distracted by beautiful displays or flashy sales tactics.
  • Put some thought into your holiday budget. If you have an idea of how much you’re planning to spend on each person, this will help you control the overall amount you spend this season, and also help you plan out the type of gift you may want to give your friends and family.
  • Carefully select your plan of attack. Only choose stores that you can afford and that you know will offer you a good value.

Finally, remember that it’s the thought that counts. While it may sound like a clich, the saying has survived so long because it is true. At Christmas and the rest of the year, it does not matter how much you spend on a gift. What people value most is the thought you put into it and your effort.

Investor Term of the Day: Comps
In retail, sales at stores which have been open for more than one year. This enables investors to determine what component of the overall sales growth was due to the opening of new stores, and to also track the profitability of individual branches. Same-store sales are also an important factor in deciding how a company should modify its retail strategy.
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9 Comments - Post your comment below.

Dec. 11, 2006

Holiday shopping can be insane! I'd love to give a Nintendo Wii to one of my family members but that little $250 console is going for upwards of $600 on the net now due to supply and demand. Kind of crazy, eh?

Love the site. I've been reading it for a bit now. Good stuff! Happy Holidays!

Dec. 11, 2006

Great advice, if only I could bring myself to follow it!

I enjoy your blog, if you ever have any stock tips, please e-mail them to [email protected]


Dec. 11, 2006

Great article - I agree totally. I love your site!

Dec. 13, 2006

This must be a hot topic these days - the Today Show just had a story on about this. They suggested setting a budget and also deciding what method of payment (cash vs. credit, for example) you're going to use ahead of time.

Chad Lapa
Dec. 14, 2006

I must admit, I have a terrible problem with overspending during the holiday season (lucky for my girlfriend, unlucky for my bank account). What I have tried to do in the past is make deals with my friends to have a nice dinner out one night instead of buying gifts for each other. This helps a little and I think my buddies in the past have enjoyed the idea.

Joe Dolan
Dec. 14, 2006

A Budget? I think that it is the only time of the year where I do not have one! I love getting people gifts, and seeing their reaction when they open them. I usually forget every other holiday during the year, so this is my chance to catch up on presents...hehe.Ma really enjoys my shopping craziness. I always have too many gifts for people, so she never shops and just sees me to buy what she wants to give.--Joe

Dec. 14, 2006

Giving gifts is great I and love seeing people opening them if they are a surprise! I tell my wife that if she asks for something I will not get it for her. I want her to be surprised. If I get her everything she asks for then is there really a surprise under the tree? I try to pick-up throughout the year on what she will want but I always end up forgetting it anyways. I usually end up buying jewelry and she is happy. I also try and buy on e-bay to avoid the stores. There stock in my mind is still top-notch, especially during the holiday season. Love the site!!!!

Chad Lapa
Dec. 14, 2006

Jim, I agree. I don't like knowing what I am going to get, even though everyone always asks me what I want. Infact, my grandparents simply give me the money, tell me to go buy something I want, and then give it back to them so they can wrap it!

Positive: I always get what I want.
Negative: I always know what I am getting.

Some people might consider knowing what they are getting to be a positive, but I am with you on this one.

Dec. 14, 2006

Good insight - I'm sure there are two ways to look at this. 1) The holidays are the time of year where you need to be extra careful about your budget or 2) The holidays are the one time of year where you should embrace the spirit and spend a little extra. Either way these are good things to keep in mind throughout the year!

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