December’s Deception: Preventing The Trap Of Overspending

Mouse_trap_money

December is the month of gift giving, gift getting, or going in debt.  The choice is yours.  Marketing is up and so is spending.  If you are like everyone else, you find yourself running to the store to purchase a bottle of shampoo and end up in a trap to overspend.

 

Your eyes are attracted to the beauty of the “new.”  Your ears are tickled by the memory-filled tunes.  Your nose is lured in by the aroma of Christmas.  Your hands are exposed to just “pick it up” and touch it. The only problem is that it can “accidentally” land in your shopping cart.

 

All of your senses are lured in by marketers this holiday season.  It’s a trap to make them rich.  Why give the gift of Christmas to some perfect stranger (the marketer)?  Instead, gift yourself with the safety of staying out of the trap.

 

I have had years during Christmas when my husband and I were busy.  We were both working full-time and going to graduate school.  We didn’t plan ahead for our Christmas giving.  We would shop for gifts at the last-minute. And we’d purchase food items for parties at the last-minute.  While we had the money to spend, it wasn’t our best use of it.  We fell into the trap of overspending.

 

If you find yourself in the trap of overspending then keep reading.  Here are 4 rules that will help keep you from December’s deception and out of the trap to overspend:

 

1. If it’s not in your budget, you can’t buy it.  It’s simple.  If you don’t have it pre-budgeted, you can’t buy it.  You can’t spend what you don’t have.  If you do (by paying with credit), you’ll end up spending at least 10-20% more on that item than what it was originally worth.  Stay within your pre-determined budget for that gift, or event.

 

2. Stay confident.  The worst thing you could do is buy something just so to impress other people.  Do you care about what others think when you are paying that credit card bill?  Do you care about what others think when you can’t pay your rent or mortgage come January?  I don’t think so.  Stay confident in your decision to be honest with your budget.  Don’t worry about what others will “think” about you.  You’ll be thankful in January!

 

3. Pay cash not credit.  This rule helps prevent you from spending too much.  Who really knows how to add 4 different items from 3 different stores in their head?  The credit card companies do.  If you use credit and overspend by $10, that’s $10 you were trapped into paying by using credit.  Cash runs out and you won’t have the choice but to put the item back.

 

4. Plan for parties at least one week in advance.  By giving yourself one week ahead, you plan for success.  You can find food items on sale.  You can think about the gift(s) you’ll need to bring.  Last minute shopping almost always sticks you in a trap.

 

So during this month, be sure to put your guards up.  Get your financial reality in check.  Prevent the trap of overspending.

 

Question: How do you avoide the trap to overspend?  Share with me your secrets to success!

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