Should You Consider a “No Spending” Holiday?

By Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®

’Tis the season for gift lists, mega sales and extra shopping trips as you get ready for the holidays. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers are planning to spend an average of $1,007 on decorations, candy, gifts, and other holiday-related purchases for themselves and their families in 2018.

If your budget’s a little tight this year, you might be better off saying ‘no’ to holiday deals. Here’s why:

Deals Will Be There in January

It’s easy to get caught up in the fear of missing out on a great deal when the Christmas countdown begins but it’s important to remember that many stores will be hosting clearance events and marking down all sorts of items right after Christmas is over. There are still plenty of deals to be had in January, so postponing those purchases for a few weeks could give you some time to save up some extra cash or wait until prices drop even more.

There Are Alternative Ways to Celebrate

The holidays are about spending time with friends and family, being grateful for what you have, and preparing for the New Year ahead. Your holiday gatherings don’t have to be centered on exchanging gifts or spending lots of money on holiday decorations. If you can enjoy some quality time with the people you love and care about the most, the material goods won’t necessarily make you happier. Consider skipping holiday purchases and investing more in devoting quality time with those you care about to enrich your life.

You’ll Avoid Impulsive Purchases

Retailers and advertisers know exactly how to turn up the pressure when it comes to sharing the latest deals, newest products, or holiday specials. All those limited-time deals, exclusive offers, and one-time only prices can easily put you in a state of wanting to buy more than you planned. If you commit to a ‘no spending’ holiday, you can ignore all those cries for your attention and focus on what’s most important this season — quality time and being free of holiday debt.

 You’ll Avoid Sinking Into Debt

If your credit score has some room for improvement or you’ve already used over 50% of your available credit on your credit cards, skipping the holiday spending sprees could help you keep your credit in good shape. Many Americans rely on credit cards to take care of extra holiday expenses, including for gifts, travel, decorations or food. Celebrating the season with a ‘no spending’ holiday can help you steer clear of a heavy debt load so you can start the New Year on healthy financial ground.

 You Can Get Creative

Whether you’re cooking up a feast for a large group or planning winter activities, you’ll find dozens of ways to make frugal choices when you’re committed to not spending extra money needlessly. You might host a potluck holiday dinner, make your own holiday cards, take the kids out sledding, or settle in for old-fashioned board games by the fireplace instead of planning expensive shopping trips and vacations this season. You’ll have the chance to get creative with your ideas and still enjoy the season of festivities without financial anxiety or economic burdens.

Even though the season of shopping and spending is upon us, there are some ways to enjoy the holidays without financial stress. A ‘no spending’ holiday can keep your financial health in check without compromising on fun, time with family and friends, and your favorite foods.

 

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Extra Credit provides general information to help improve our Member’s financial lives. Every situation is different, so please contact us for guidance on your specific needs. The advice provided in Extra Credit is not intended to serve as a substitute for speaking to a loan representative, financial advisor, or BALANCE counselor who can help tailor a solution for you.

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