Biggest shopping day of the year and you're supposed to buy nothing -- and miss all those sales?! Let's follow at least the SPIRIT of this holiday -- if not the literal interpretation. Think about shopping the day after Thanksgiving -- is it because you really NEED all that stuff, or because society has institutionalized the experience? I know, you're buying holiday gifts. Are the holidays about going into massive credit card debt, or family and friends and good feelings? Are they about living up to a spending standard, or focusing on what's truly important in life? Shop because you get a positive benefit from the activity -- not because it is EXPECTED of you.
Start out the holidays with a BUDGET -- and stick to it. Before you head out, figure out how much you plan to spend on each person. If your total exceeds your budget, either reduce the number of gifts you will buy or the dollar amount per person.
Do your shopping at sales THROUGHOUT the year, rather than waiting until the holiday season is upon us. You will not only save money, but you will reduce the head-pounding stress of dealing with the mall on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Ask yourself if you have to BUY everyone a gift this year. Wouldn't your loved ones appreciate a hand-made gift just as much? Food is always a good present -- as are holiday crafts. And you get to put your own tender loving care into your gift-giving.
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