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With only days until Black Friday, many of us are already planning our Holiday Shopping Spree! We’ve all heard it before, “Don’t spend too much this holiday season!, Exercise discipline!, Set up a budget!, Don’t use your credit card! The list goes on and on. So, with all this advice, how come the majority of holiday shoppers don’t follow the advice and guidelines of the experts?

Here are a couple of reasons why:

  •  Pressure from family members, especially the children.
  •  Peer pressure, “everyone else is doing it, the neighbors’ children got one.”
  • Lack of self-discipline, if the discipline hasn’t been present all year, there’s a good chance it won’t be during the holiday season.
  • Forgetting the real reason for the season and not emphasizing with yourself and family members what the holiday season is really about.
  • You’ve worked hard this year and you owe it to yourself to splurge.
  • We always have done it this way, it’s a family tradition.
  • There are so many good deals during the holiday season, it was the sale of the century.
  • Everybody is buying me a gift, so I need to buy them gifts.
  • All the holiday spending is concentrated in a 45 day period.
  • Everything tends to be last minute and rushed at this time of year.

All the work you’ve done to get out of debt last year can turn into a Holiday On Ice within a short 45 day period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s! You simply cannot afford physically, emotionally, socially, or financially to lose one inch of ground on disciplined actions you achieved last year. Space your shopping over the course of the year. Last minute shopping tends to slide you off your plan. Whether you use your checkbook, debit card, or cash, DO NOT SPEND $1 more on presents than you have cash to cover. Every Dollar On Purpose!

 So how do we overcome these challenges during the holiday season?

1. Emphasize to family members and your children what the holiday season really means and it’s not about the material things. This is a monumental challenge in the materialistic society we live in. Stay the course; it will pay off in many ways, not just financially.

2. Incorporate discipline in your spending habits year round. These good habits will stay with you right through the spending season.

3. You work hard year round, so make it easier on yourself by staying out of debt go ing into the New Year. Hard work is a given, reward yourself in non spending ways.

4. Break the family tradition of holiday spending, blaze the new trail, widen the path for the next generation in your family.

5. There are great deals through-out the year, do your holiday shopping year round. Always look for the sales, even when it’s not the holiday spending season. January, after the holiday season is a great time to buy for the next holiday.

6. High quality, heirloom type gifts are available at estate sales and yard sales. There are some great finds in these events. There are great deals to be had that make great gifts.

7.Have a discussion with friends and family and emphasize they need to buy for their immediate loved ones. Pictures and cards make great gifts and don’t cost a lot of money. Buying gifts for everyone you know can be overwhelming

Space your shopping over the next few weeks; last minute shopping tends to throw you off your budget and your plan. Stay the Course!! This time next year be Paid In Full!