Posts Tagged ‘holiday shopping’

4 Ways to Cut Holiday Expenses

 

If I were forced to choose one time of year that was about making smart choices, it’d be hard to choose against this one. What should you wear to the next holiday party? Who should you invite to a gathering you’re holding? How much should you spend on gifts? Probably the biggest one of all is this: what should you eat?

I was out with a friend recently for lunch and as she perused the menu, I heard her mumble, “Oh, that looks good, but I want that cake!” I felt a bit envious because if I eat frosting at noon, I’m struggling to stay awake by 2:00 PM. But I was surprised when the waiter arrived and she ordered a healthy salad and water.

She never ordered cake.

I asked when the bill arrived, “You aren’t getting the cake?”

Her answer was surprising. This healthy, fit woman told me that she was on Weight Watchers. She enjoyed this particular program because it was less about diet and more about making wise choices. She hadn’t been talking about the cake from that restaurant’s menu. Instead, she was already thinking about the awesome cheesecake a woman was serving at a holiday party we’d both be attending later in the week.

In short, she was making choices today that would affect what she was going to eat in the future.

If you extend this type of thinking to your whole life, powerful results are right around the corner. (more…)

Enjoy the Holiday Without Breaking the Bank

You’ve made it through Black Friday and the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, hopefully with your pocketbook intact. I hope that you had a warm, fun time with friends or relatives. As we wheel into a fantastic stretch of holidays on the calendar, I know there’s little I enjoy more than renewing old acquaintances, enjoying new friendships and watching the pageantry of the season.  It can truly be, to quote the classic holiday song, the “greatest time of year.”

This stretch can also be the worst time of year, though. I’ve spoken with people who see deals all around them and feel like they can’t take advantage of any because of money woes. A group stops off at Starbucks for a Peppermint-favored holiday drink and all you have in your pocket is enough for bus fare home. For this reason and others, the holidays can lead to depression and feelings of miserable loneliness.

Whether I’ve explained your situation or not, there are good ways to experience and enjoy this holiday season without spending every dollar you have.  Much as the Grinch discovered, there is more to this time of year than presents and shopping. Here are some tips to help you beat the holiday blues:

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Black Friday Shopping Tips

The day after Thanksgiving, “Black Friday,” is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. I’ve often wondered why they couldn’t have come up with a better name – it always makes me think of the plague… But actually, the day received its title because it’s when retailers finally go from the “red” to the “black”, meaning that they become profitable. On this single day the malls are packed with shoppers. Every big box store offers massive deals to coax more money from your wallet. If you’ve been shopping on Black Friday, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a festive, happy, lets-go-spend-every-cent-we-have kind of day.

That’s where we can begin digging ourselves a hole.

It starts easily enough. A store offers a fantastic special on a big-ticket item. Let’s say it’s a big screen television. Although you can’t really afford the price tag, it’s been marked down forty percent from the retail price for the first fifty buyers. Your television isn’t going to last much longer; the tin foil on the rabbit ear antenna is older than several of the neighborhood children. It’s a wonderful opportunity.

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